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More savings through red tape cuts

15 May 2014

Joint media release with the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP

The Australian Government is continuing to deliver on its commitment to ease the red tape burden on business.

Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane and Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister Josh Frydenberg said Australian businesses would continue to benefit from an economic climate that encourages new investment as the Government continues to ease the regulatory burden.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry, Bob Baldwin, today introduced legislation to repeal the Energy Efficiency Opportunities programme.

“Australian businesses are well aware of the impact of higher electricity prices on the bottom line. Since 2006, when the Energy Efficiency Opportunities programme was introduced, businesses have worked to develop energy management capabilities that strengthen their resilience to rising energy prices and other changing economic conditions,” Mr Macfarlane said.

The programme has played an important role but it has now become unnecessary given the actions businesses and large energy users are already taking of their own accord to reduce energy costs and therefore reduce business costs.

“With energy productivity now core business for many Australian industries, industry is best placed to define the right processes to make decisions on how best to manage their energy use,” Mr Macfarlane said.

Mr Frydenberg said the Government’s Deregulation Agenda to cut $1 billion in red and green tape each year was progressing well and having a direct positive impact on business.

“The Government has consulted with business, including the manufacturing sector, and it is clear they are focused on energy efficiency to make their operations more cost effective and sustainable. By removing this programme, the Government will help business profitability by saving them over $17 million a year in red tape costs,” Mr Frydenberg said.

The Bill provides for the closure of the programme on 29 June 2014, with programme participants no longer being subject to its obligations after this date.

The Government will continue to cooperatively explore options for improving energy productivity through the Energy White Paper process and the Council of Australian Governments Energy Council.

In addition, the Emissions Reduction Fund will help businesses and industry to take direct action to reduce emissions and improve their energy efficiency.

The energy efficiency exchange website (http://www.eex.gov.au/) will continue to provide best practice resource materials for businesses seeking information on how to better manage their energy use.

Media contacts:
Mr Macfarlane's office 02 6277 7070
Mr Frydenberg’s office 02 6277 4606