AER National Energy Laws Enforcement and Penalties Framework - Consultation Package

Publication date: Sunday, 17th November 2019.

AER National Energy Laws Enforcement and Penalties Framework - Consultation Package

Following agreement by the COAG Energy Council’s Senior Committee of Officials (SCO) this consultation package is being publicly released, on draft legislative amendments to the Australian Energy Regulator’s (AER) enforcement powers and penalty regime under the National Energy Laws.

The proposed changes to the National Energy Laws will strengthen the AER’s enforcement regime and provide a stronger deterrent against breaches of the law and rules, particularly where the impacts of a breach are significant or impact the integrity of the electricity market.

Key changes to be implemented by the draft legislation include:

1.Adopting a three-tier civil penalty regime in the laws. 

2.Increasing civil and offence penalty levels and indexing them in line with the CPI. 

3.Enhancing the AER’s existing information gathering powers to allow it to compel the provision of oral evidence.

SCO encourages stakeholders to provide feedback, through a written submission, on the draft amendments. Noting the previous consultation processes that have occurred and that the drafting of the Bill and regulations reflects the agreed policy intent of the Council, SCO is primarily interested in comments from stakeholders on drafting omissions or errors, and whether the amendments will raise any practical implementation or transitional concerns.

This consultation closed on 6 January 2020. Submissions will be considered and a final package of draft amendments will go to the Council for approval in 2020. Submissions are available below.

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Council Priority Issue