The Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AM MP, has welcomed the release of exposure draft legislation to support the establishment of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).
The creation of AEMO, which will require amendment to the National Electricity and Gas Laws and National Electricity and Gas Rules, will implement the decision of the Council of Australian Governments in April 2007 to strengthen the national character of energy market governance arrangements. The National Gas Law and Rule amendments released yesterday complement the National Electricity Law and Rule amendments released on 19 December 2008.
Minister Ferguson said: “These amendments are essential to the formation of AEMO, a national institution to operate Australia’s energy markets. AEMO will create efficiencies in Australia’s energy markets and will enhance their competitiveness by taking on new functions, including the National Transmission Planner and the production of an annual gas statement of opportunities.”
AEMO will operate gas and electricity markets in all jurisdictions except in Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
Minister Ferguson said: “The Ministerial Council on Energy, comprising Ministers with responsibility for energy from the Australian Government and all States and Territories, is committed to ensuring AEMO is operational by mid-2009. Consultation on the exposure drafts is a key step in achieving this goal.”
Stakeholders are invited to provide comments on the proposed electricity and gas legislative amendments. A public forum was held yesterday to receive initial stakeholder comments on the electricity amendments and a similar forum will be held for the gas amendments on 3 February 2009.
“These are essential reforms that will have a lasting impact on Australian energy supply. I urge all interested parties to become involved in the public consultation process,” Minister Ferguson said.
22nd January 2009
Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Tourism