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Royal commission into energy sector unnecessary, gas pipeline boss says

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The boss of a gas pipeline giant says a royal commission into the energy sector would be unnecessary considering the immense powers of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Peter Dutton, who is set to launch a second challenge for the Liberal leadership on Friday, has flagged launching a royal commission into the energy sector.

APA Group Chief Executive Mick McCormack tells Ross it wouldn’t be unnecessary.

“In the last year or so, at government behest, the ACCC has spent considerable time reviewing (the electricity sector), particularly the retailers.

“The ACCC, as I understand, it’s got the same investigative powers as the royal commission.

“On my read of it, the ACCC’s findings – in respect to electricity – go to market structure and regulatory setting… that’s a matter for the industry and government to get on and get sorted out.”

He says “putting on a royal commission” would delay the consumer watchdog’s recommendations.

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When it comes to the chaos in Canberra, and the uncertainty surrounding energy policy, Mr McCormack says there needs to be a clear direction for companies to invest.

“I think, ultimately, the community is expecting some action on this.

“There needs to be firm policy because there will need to be a large scale investment in the energy sector, and that won’t happen unless businesses like mine have reasonable comfort that we’ll get a return over the life of that project.”