The review is intended to examine the broad energy market institutional structure created by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) as well as the legislative framework that establishes and assigns functions to institutions. The review will provide advice to the Energy Council on potential areas of improvement to the institutions and their oversight by the Energy Council. QCOSS welcomes the review of the governance arrangements and processes of all relevant institutions, including the COAG Energy Council, for consistency with the National Electricity Objective to consider the long-term interests of consumers. QCOSS believes that there is a need for improved transparency of policy objectives and greater consideration of consumer outcomes in policy setting by all energy market institutions.
There are limited opportunities for consumers and community organisations to provide substantive input into national energy sector processes. This is particularly evident for consumers outside New South Wales or Victoria. It is essential that resources are provided to ensure that consumers in all jurisdictions across the National Energy Market (NEM) are able to have meaningful input and that all relevant bodies take a truly national approach to consulting and considering the outcomes for all consumers.
QCOSS also believes that the COAG Energy Council must consider the broader policy agenda that affects energy consumers. Currently gaps and overlaps in the roles and responsibilities for energy consumer matters are contributing to poor consumer outcomes.