The Business Council maintains its crusade for higher electricity prices

In The Australian today, we have a puff piece by JENNIFER WESTACOTT (head of the Business Council) and  ALISON WATKINS (head of Coca Cola Amatil).  It is headlined “The window of change is open: now is the time for pro-business economic reform” and has the usual exhortatory bromides, demanding “that we expunge the idea that business as usual will cut it”. 

It tells us “our starting point was a period of stagnation in investment, productivity and wages growth. So, how do we achieve the monumental task of creating about two million new jobs”. It talks about unleashing business, building confidence and unleashing balance sheets.  Two general policy reforms it suggests are a 20 per cent investment allowance (rapid write-off of investment spending is always a good idea) and cutting red tape (a great idea but one that has eluded Australian Governments for 30 years). It also supports open markets, skilled migration and a more competitive tax system.

But the only specific policy it advocates is, “devising a road map to outline how we transition to a more carbon-efficient economy”.

This is code for even more of the energy taxes and regulations that have crippled the economy.  At present, regulations and subsidies to renewable energy are $7 billion a year and the effect of these has forced the closure of plants producing much cheaper electricity,  bringing about a doubling of the price.  In train are further policies to bolster this “carbon-efficient economy” with billions of spending in converting the Snowy and Tas Hydro facilities into “batteries of the nation” to allow reliable use of renewables.  Billions more are being earmarked for new transmission to allow these dispersed wind and solar farms to deliver electricity where it is demanded and to dump surplus supplies on days when wind conditions are ideal.

The nation’s leading business association, instead of advocating measures that would reduce costs, is supporting a doubling down of the measures that have done so much to undermine business competitiveness.  For 30 years now we have heard about how renewables will soon, without any help from regulations, displace coal and gas.  Yet the subsidies and associated damage to energy costs only increase.

Business leaders – at least those who crave a place in political counselling – are demonstrating a lack of knowledge beyond the confines of their own firms interests and an unhappy tendency to repeat the platitudes about energy that they pick up in their general reading.  It is time for governments and the media to disregard them.

 

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37 Responses to The Business Council maintains its crusade for higher electricity prices

  1. stackja

    The go out of Business Council ignorance on full display.

  2. Scott Osmond

    At this point I’m wondering just who the business council represents. Certainly not business. Every small and medium business owner I’ve had dealings with say electricity is one of the largest expenses. Maybe only those corporates on the government tit get on the council?

  3. Dasher

    It is beyond comprehension how much money we are spending to avoid the shortcomings of wind and solar, money that could be spent on reliable 24/7 dense: coal, gas and even nuclear power. This has to be the new definition of madness and we will all suffer. I think their brains have stopped working.

  4. Fat Tony

    Dasher
    #3518915, posted on July 20, 2020 at 10:21 am
    It is beyond comprehension how much money we are spending to avoid the shortcomings of wind and solar, money that could be spent on reliable 24/7 dense: coal, gas and even nuclear power. This has to be the new definition of madness and we will all suffer. I think their brains have stopped working.

    Dasher – I don’t think all those billions are being put in a pile and burnt. It’s all going into someones’ pockets.

  5. Bruce of Newcastle

    It tells us “our starting point was a period of stagnation in investment, productivity and wages growth. So, how do we achieve the monumental task of creating about two million new jobs”.

    Investing in hammers for breaking rocks into smaller rocks would create lots of jobs. Renewable energy would create lots of jobs. At least the former makes useful road gravel.

  6. Roger

    Business leaders – at least those who crave a place in political counselling – are demonstrating a lack of knowledge beyond the confines of their own firms interests and an unhappy tendency to repeat the platitudes about energy that they pick up in their general reading.

    It’s worse than that….the Business Council actually has a policy statement on climate change.

    It’s not just something they picked up in general reading, it’s dogma for them.

    I’m afraid they epitomise the phenomenon of woke corporates in Australia.

  7. Tom

    It’s difficult to avoid the conclusion Westacott got the job running BCA only because she has a vagina — like that other cvnt who just destroyed rugby union in Australia.

    Afffirmative action is a corporate cancer that leads to hysteria like “climate change”, to which females are especially prone, which has added 50%+ to the cost of electricity in Australia. Is Westacott a closet Marxist as well?

  8. Rockdoctor

    Few subsidy miners among BCA. They are backing a horse called self interest…

  9. Roger

    Jennifer and Alison. Ok.

    I’m afraid such creatures inhabit the boardrooms of Australia, pbw, facilitated in their nonsense by men without chests. It’s a subversive dynamic.

  10. Roger

    Not inhabit but infest, I meant.

  11. Is this what’s meant when it’s said that women in corporate leadership positions make better CEOs etc than men, who are simply focused on the bottom line?

  12. Fat Tony

    Many years ago, to be a bank manager meant starting in the postal section, graduating to the accounts section and then becoming a teller. To become 2IC meant transferring to the bush, where eventually a managerial position may open.

    These managers knew every aspect of the job.

    Somewhere along the line, this policy was replaced by hiring graduates into the senior positions, and the rest is history.

  13. duncanm

    The head of CCA is doing the usual – getting cosy with government nice and early to make sure any changes do not impact their business. They will be compensated quite nicely, thank you.

    Small business will be screwed.

    Just look at the container return debacle in NSW.

  14. Fin.

    Sunday’s radio program featuring Mr Ian MacNamara and his caller “Alex” saw them eagerly agreeing with each other that much greater Australian input of infrastructure for windfarms and solar farms is needed. Obviously the two wanted more of Australia all over blighted with these Subsidy Farms and their subsequent jacking up of electricity prices and long term loss of employment.

  15. Ms Watkins is relaxed, when the Australian aluminium smelters have packed up and moved to China, she can boast about her part in reducing Australian tree food emissions when she’s next in Davos.

    The CCP’s electricity doesn’t run cold.

  16. Professor Fred Lenin

    The difference between wind and solar and normal power is the same as the difference between a Tesla and a kids pedal car,the only similarity is they are both called carsnice day for wind[ower in melbourne taday ,not a breath of wind .

  17. Professor Fred Lenin

    Fat Tony ,thats like the guy who had a Phd in plumbing and sanitation ,his toilet blocked and he had to phone a Real plumber to fix it .

  18. John A

    pbw #3518923, posted on July 20, 2020, at 10:35 am

    Jennifer and Alison. Ok.

    Middle initials K, for Karen.

  19. Fat Tony

    Professor Fred Lenin
    #3518982, posted on July 20, 2020 at 11:46 am
    Fat Tony ,thats like the guy who had a Phd in plumbing and sanitation ,his toilet blocked and he had to phone a Real plumber to fix it .

    Professor – I thought PhD stood for Piled Higher & Deeper – situation normal for a plumber…..

  20. Lee

    The Business Council sounds (like many other organisations and corporations) as if it has been infested with leftists.

  21. NuThink

    A small family specialist food store we frequent was complaining about the rise in electricity costs a while back as he has a fair amount of refrigeration.

    It got me thinking – small business does not matter to the big end of town, as they are not unionized, but the workers who benefit from the infrastructure for renewabulls would be unionized. Greg Combet at the moment is spruiking how industry super has created 200,000 (IIRC) jobs. In the background of his spiel are wind turbines.
    Nuff said.

  22. Dr Faustus

    Maybe only those corporates on the government tit get on the council?

    Dasher – I don’t think all those billions are being put in a pile and burnt. It’s all going into someones’ pockets.

    Pocket owners.
    You will notice (without surprise) that Ms Westacot and the BCA represents the interests of renewable generators, businesses that supply renewable generators, businesses that advise renewable generators, and businesses that fund renewable generators. And a chorus line of special pleaders.

    The Tit.
    In Australia’s corporate world, there are no other activities that deliver a steady stream 15%-18% ROI investment opportunities in a regulated, cross-subsidised, gamed, uncompetitive, low-risk essential services market. For those in on the joke it’s all rich cream and big bonuses – paid for by every poor stiff who needs to use electricity.

    When BCA talks about “investment certainty“, it’s bully pulpit talk for the investment certainty that keeps the game going for the lucky ticket players.

    Deep concern about the progression towards “a more carbon-efficient economy” would evaporate if governments decided themselves to start building out renewable generation infrastructure at a 5-6% social cost of capital. Instantly, that would become “crowding out” of the private sector.

  23. Ubique

    You would think the Business Council would at least display some interest in the cost-benefit of investment in intermittent and unreliable forms of energy. You would think they would look for what effects on climate, average temperatures, ‘extreme weather’ or sea levels the untold billions spent on renewables have had to date. You might have hoped they had listened to the Chief Scientist when he said nothing we do will have any effect on climate. We’re sadly disappointed on all counts.

  24. tombell

    Jennifer Westacott AO has served as Chief Executive of the Business Council of Australia since 2011, bringing a unique combination of extensive policy experience in both the public and private sectors.

    Under her leadership, the Business Council tirelessly champions meaningful policies that strengthen the ability of businesses to grow the economy for the benefit of all Australians.

    Jennifer built her career in the public sector, working in senior leadership positions in the NSW and Victorian governments.

    She has served as the Director General of the NSW Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources; the Secretary of the Victorian Department of Education and Training; and the Director of Housing in Victoria.

    She was also the Deputy Director General of the NSW Department of Community Services, and the Deputy Director General of the NSW Department of Housing.

    As a senior partner at KPMG, Jennifer advised major corporations on climate change and sustainability and advised governments across Australia on significant reform priorities.

    from Westacott’s “official” CV. What did you expect?

  25. min

    Question I would ask is what will Australia do to avoid the renewables failures in Germany
    The highest energy costs in EU
    Energy poverty ( already experienced here)
    Unaffordable new transmission lines for renewablesc
    At least Germany can import energy from neighbours , nuclear and gas . Australia can not.

  26. min

    The other Problem for Germany the cost to reach this level of failure in 20 plus years Billions or trillions

  27. H B Bear

    BCA – least successful union in Australia.

  28. JENNIFER WESTACOTT (head of the Business Council)
    ALISON WATKINS (head of Coca Cola Amatil).

    I rest my case your honour.

  29. Mother Lode

    It’s difficult to avoid the conclusion Westacott got the job running BCA only because she has a vagina

    People who are promoted or appointed due to socialist engineering incentives and/or regulation will be, almost without exception, prone to approve of and advance the socialist engineering agenda. Look at the cackling flock we have in politics and judicial appointments.

    These zealots would rather promote two mediocre women than wait and appoint one good one. It will take a long time for these creatures to advance along the alimentary canal of their respective organisations and be excreted to make room for women who get roles because they are worthy of the position.

    But for the time being it makes it look like women are inept.

    I work with a woman who was recently promoted, deserved it too. I have seen her work and observed her professionalism and competence are she is second to none. She is also raising two kids by herself, but I have never known her to seek to be excused work or deadlines pleading such circumstances. However she has a feeling that the reason she was offered the role was because the company has set itself policies of ‘increasing the number of women in management’, and she is concerned that people who do not work as closely with her will discount her abilities accordingly.

  30. Mother Lode

    Under her leadership, the Business Council tirelessly champions meaningful policies that strengthen the ability of businesses to grow the economy for the benefit of all Australians.

    Pfft.

    ‘Meaningful policies’ is meaningless puff.

  31. NuThink mentions Greg Combet and that TV ad he’s now spruiking on.

    Sometimes I really wonder about all these virtue signalling Union sponsored retirement funds, and their (hey look at me) investments in wind plants. Does that make them pseudo owners, and if so, would they then become liable for the clean up back to pristine land when the plants reach their end of power generation life, and what happens to that mega million dollar investment, (you know, to provide for the member’s old age, so they don’t need to go on the aged pension) if said wind plant has reached the end of its life, with zero income from that time forward, and that’s only 15 to 20 years.

    Tony.

  32. Cynic of Ayr

    I note that the head of the Business Council of Australia is a woman.
    The head of Coco Cola is a woman.
    Reflect…
    The real problems of society started, say, 10 or 15 years ago. The alphabet soup dramas, the decline in education standards, the decline in sensible public spending, with resultant deficits, all have something in common.
    The rise of Women, based on their gender, not their ability.
    No so? Consider, Shorten wanted 50% women in Parliament. Not because women were better than men, but simply because they were women.
    No so? Consider, name three women world leaders of real success and note.
    Maggie Thatcher, Golda Meir, Indira Gandhi. That’s it. No single Australian female leader, local state or federal would hold a candle to these. We have had numerous total disasters, while the rest were just also-rans.
    Star Wars, perhaps the greatest movie franchise ever, was ruined by a woman.
    Doctor Who, perhaps the greatest TV franchise ever, was ruined by a woman.
    Gail Kelly, the leader of Westpac, touted as the greatest ever, on 10 million a year, was replaced by a man, for 3/4 her salary, and WestPac didn’t miss a beat.
    Universities – run by women.
    Schools, primary and high – run by women.
    The Human Rights Commission of University Students fame, was runs by a women, and assisted by a close copy of one.
    Baa Humbug knows this also.
    There is no single reason for this, it’s just a statistical fact.

  33. Here’s a thought Jennifer, how about the Business Council have a policy of making plant and equipment purchasing decisions on their contribution to the efficiency of the business, rather than their tax effectiveness?

  34. DaveR

    The heads of BCA and CCA both say its time for “pro business economic reform”.

    The only actual policy they come up with is a “roadmap to a more carbon efficient economy” which by its very nature must raise costs across the board, let alone reduce energy cost back to the 15c/kWhr level which is competitive with our international trading partners.

    None of that is remotely “pro business”. Who do these people actually represent?

  35. Squirrel

    Yes – they want to be Green-washed and paid to do it – that’s why they think “reforms” like a broadened and increased GST and land tax on the family home are a great idea because someone has to pay for the rorts, rackets and rigged markets that they demand.

  36. Tim Neilson

    Who do these people actually represent?
    As Dr F said…
    renewable generators, businesses that supply renewable generators, businesses that advise renewable generators, and businesses that fund renewable generators. And a chorus line of special pleaders.
    “Financial intermediaries” like the banks and investment banks are all over the renewable energy certificate “market” like a fat kid onto a donut.

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