The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Wayne Swan

Wayne Swan

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer

3 December 2007 - 27 June 2013

26 November 2010


Joint Media Release
The Hon Greg Combet MP
Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency

Business Roundtable on Climate Change Holds First Meeting

Australian business leaders this morning held productive talks with the Government to discuss the country's transition to a low-pollution economy.

A key focus of the first meeting of the Business Roundtable on Climate Change was the need for a carbon price to support long-term investment.

The meeting set the ground rules for how the Roundtable will operate and how members will advise the Government about options for putting a price on carbon.

Members discussed a range of issues, including the need to engage business and the broader community, the need to draw on the experiences of previous policy development, and the fact that achieving even a 5 per cent emissions reduction against 2000 levels will involve a significant restructuring of the economy.

While there may be slow progress in international negotiations, the reality is that many countries are acting to reduce their emissions. Early movers will reap the economic benefits by attracting international investment flows and improving their competitiveness in the long term.

Australia faces some significant economic challenges in the years ahead, as we manage a surge of investment in our resource sector. We will see ongoing debates about capacity constraints, skills shortages and infrastructure adequacy. Investments in coming years will guide our growth in the coming decade and beyond.

In this context, it is important that we have the policy settings in place to ensure we are investing efficiently and with a view to the long term.

Members committed to continued discussions including meetings in February, April and June next year, followed by monthly meetings through the second half of 2011.

The Government thanks all participants for their commitment to an open discussion on this important area of economic reform.

26 November 2010