Despite a rampant pressure from business and consumers alike, state and federal governments have been hesitant to address what many have described as an ‘energy crisis.’ Just this week, the chief executive of Business Council of Australia, Jennifer Westacott expressed the need to reach an ‘in-principle agreement so we can move on from this policy rut and establish a national, coordinated plan that prioritises a secure, reliable, affordable energy supply.
The recent development by the COAG Energy Council to prepare a proposal, which addresses both the need for a reliable energy supply whilst also attaining energy emission targets, has been relatively popular amongst business owners and consumers. However, a key stakeholder seems to have remained silent on the issue which is, perhaps, the most important of them all - future. Those who will inherit the future energy infrastructure in the coming decade.
In the coming decades the current business students will inevitably become the leaders, which will take over the infrastructure that our current leaders have established. It will be upon their shoulders that they will have to plan and execute such infrastructure. Therefore, it is imperative to gain an insight into the thoughts of business students across Australia to see how the next generation reacts to such key policy initiatives.
ABSA spoke to a number of business student leaders from prominent Universities across Australia to understand their perspective on the National Energy Guarantee and its recent developments.
Tom Ryan, President of the Australian Business Students’ Association, President of Macquarie University Business Society:
‘It is of great importance that current and forthcoming business leaders understand energy policy and its implications on economic growth and development. A significant policy such as the National Energy Guarantee requires a focus on short- to long-term implications on business and the broader society. In the absence of a holistic and mutually beneficial policy outlook which addresses affordable, consistent and reliable power for business, the Australian economy will remain susceptible to operational vulnerabilities across all sectors, which would substantially influence economic growth.’
Lachie Cardiff, President of Queensland Technology Sydney Economics and Finance Society:
‘Future business leaders should be both cautious but excited about the future of Australia’s federal energy policy… The NEG is a platform for progress through the next five, ten, twenty years. The business leaders of the future will be able to use the NEG as both a platform for policy change and moving forward, as well as a policy which genuinely encourages the transition to more environmentally sustainable energy sources.’
Waseem Sohail, President of Deakin University Commerce Students’ Society:
‘Businesses are based on a project. A project which starts somewhere with either the establishment of factories to produce a product or a setup for the provision of services. Now, both of them require electricity as a source to perform their functions. Consider a new setup which requires electricity to carry out their production and they can’t do it efficiently because of load shedding scenarios. Hence, NEG is surely going to revolutionise the future of business in Australia, and hopefully it brings more and more investment opportunities into our economy.’