Time to be a little bold

This could shape up to be a defining week for Australia.

Our population will hit 25 million, well ahead of previous forecasts, reflecting our rapidly growing nation.

On Friday, Australia’s energy ministers will meet to determine the fate of the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) which aims to set out a stable policy framework to deliver reliable and affordable energy for Australian businesses and households while keeping us on track to meet our Paris Agreement emissions targets.

Both issues call for some bold leadership (you can a practical perspective on this at next month’s Property Congress in Darwin from former New Zealand Prime Minister John Key).

It’s easy in this era of short-term political decision-making to look for the simple solutions to the challenges posed by a rapidly growing population or meeting the energy needs of an advanced economy while cutting emissions.

Securing and sustaining our future prosperity and well-being require longer term solutions, not quick fixes. Closing the door to immigration or sending new arrivals to the bush won’t solve the infrastructure challenges already facing our cities.

Kicking the can down the road on energy policy certainly won’t provide relief from higher energy bills for households or businesses, and it certainly won’t help us cut our carbon emissions.

Our industry is already leading the world in the design and delivery of sustainable buildings that will support our emissions reduction targets. 

 We have joined with other business and industry bodies in urging all Australian governments to support a policy approach that delivers certainty and stability in our energy sector and to put aside partisan and ideological differences.

 In other words, be a little bold.