Energy Security Board - Ministerial Power to make Rules

Publication date: Monday, 18th September 2017.

Introducing a Ministerial Power to make rules recommended by the Energy Security Board and approved by the COAG Energy Council

In delivering the Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market-Final Report ('the Finkel Review') in June this year, Australian Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel AO, emphasised the importance of good governance and ensuring there is a coordinated approach from energy market bodies to the rapidly changing National Electricity Market (NEM).

A key recommendation of the Review was the establishment of the Energy Security Board (ESB), comprised of the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC), Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), and Australian Energy Regulator (AER), with independent Chair and Deputy Chairs.

COAG Energy Ministers also agreed that there was a need to provide a mechanism to allow for the timely implementation of the Board's recommendations.

Rule Making Power

The Statutes Amendment (National Energy Laws) (Rules) Bill 2017 ("the Bill") establishes a mechanism by which a proposed Rule recommended by the ESB, once it has the unanimous support of the COAG Energy Council, can be made by the South Australian Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy under the National Electricity Law (NEL), National Energy Retail Law (NERL) or National Gas Law (NGL), as appropriate.

In the case of the NERL, the Minister's Rule making power only extends to the making of Rules that are necessary or consequential to the making of Rules under the NEL or NGL, as contemplated by this Bill. This is recognition that the matters on which the ESB will deliberate will most likely fall within the ambit of the NEL or NGL.

Issues for stakeholder consideration

Stakeholders were encouraged to review and comment on all aspects of this draft Bill, including any further prescription or clarity that may be required noting that the Terms of Reference for the ESB, to be issued by the COAG Energy Council, will provide greater detail with respect to process or administrative matters. Agreement by the Senior Committee of Officials (SCO) to release the draft Bill for public consultation is not to be taken as endorsement of policy positions in the Bill by SCO.

More information on this Consultation Paper can be found in the attachments below.

Update: This Consultation Process is now closed. 

All stakeholder submissions (except confidential submissions) are published below.