Energy regulation in Australia, cooperative federalism and unilateralism
Since the State and Federal governments committed themselves to building a national electricity grid in 1991, and industry restructuring began to introduce competition, the regulation of the energy sector in Australia has moved from being a matter of state managerial control to a national probelm of how to regulate a complex and diverse industry that must operate a single system reliably and efficiently. To do this, a set of national institutions and laws has been established under the Council of Australian Governments. This seminar outlines the development of this system, what it has achieved, and what is challenging in the 21st century.
Raif is an Australian professional public servant, with over 15 years experience in policy and regulatory roles pertaining to energy systems, markets and resources. Raif graduated from the University of Western Australia in 2000 with a BA(Hons) in political science. Upon graduation, Raif worked for the Western Australian Government in upstream energy resources. Since then he has worked for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in energy network regulation from 2004-2007, and for the Victorian Government since 2007 on national energy market reform processes. Raif's interest is in policy formation and reform within federal political systems, and he hopes to contribute to understanding of how energy market policy can be developed in the public interest to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
PhD project: Federalism, policy formation and the energy market transition in Australia
The aim of this research is to analyse the implications of energy policy making within the Australian federation for the transition of the energy markets toward a low carbon emissions system. The key question to be answered is whether the energy regulatory and governance framework in Australia is adaptive to changing policy demands and is able to produce effective policy in the future.
The study will draw upon rational choice and institutional theory to analyse the cooperative federalism institutional arrangements that were put in place consequent to the Australian Energy Market Agreement in the early/mid-2000s and which form the basis of significant policy activity today. The study will analyse the way that public policies aimed at effecting a transformation of the energy market are affected by the federal institutional arrangements. The effects of these institutional arrangements on policy formation and implementation will be analysed based on historic case studies, with a view to drawing conclusions about the positive and negative implications of these arrangements.
Supervisors: Prof. Fiona Haines
Start date: February 2017