Griffith hosts key energy security discussions

Head and shoulders of Professor Andrew O'Neil in shirt and tie
Professor Andrew O'Neil will chair this week's Second Track dialogue meeting at the new Sir Samuel Griffith Building.

Securing future energy supplies in an evolving environmental landscape is paramount for governments worldwide. It is a priority that acutely connects Australia with China.

“Energy plays a big part in our relationship with China, with coal, gas, and uranium imports from Australia forming a key component of China’s energy security strategy,” Professor Andrew O’Neil says in the lead-up to the 2013 Australia-China Futures Dialogue.

Griffith University will host the high-level discussions at its Nathan campus on Thursday (July 4) when Chinese and Australian experts from academic, business and government sectors will come together in the university’s new Sir Samuel Griffith Building.

Professor O’Neil is Director of the Griffith Asia Institute which coordinates the annual Australia-China Futures Dialogue. The event is co-sponsored by Peking University and Griffith University, and supported by the Queensland Government.

“Recent polling shows that most Australians see China’s economy as the single most important factor underpinning our future prosperity,” Professor O’Neil said.

“Australian and Chinese energy companies are focused on long-term investment strategies based on stable supply and demand, but occasionally mutual misunderstandings over the investment environment generate frictions in the bilateral relationship.

“Future energy supplies are vital to national economic development and accessing reliable and moderately priced energy is at the core of governments’ security strategies the world over.”

Experts from the Grattan Institute, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Rio Tinto Energy and World Resources Energy will take part in three panel sessions with academics from Griffith University, Peking University, Murdoch University, University of Sydney and University of Dundee.

The sessions will cover contemporary policy environment, Sino-Australian energy relations and sustainable energy futures respectively. Key questions will focus on the respective priorities for Australia and China in the area of energy security policy and how environmental factors are shaping choices about future energy.

The Griffith Asia Institute will prepare an outcomes paper summarising the primary findings of the dialogue, to be distributed to government agencies, industry, think tanks, and academic institutions.

On the preceding Wednesday evening (July 3), Queensland’s Minister for Energy and Water Supply, the Honourable Mark McArdle, will deliver the annual Leader’s Lecture, which will provide a Queensland perspective on Australia-China energy relations, at the Gallery of Modern Art.

An invitation-only event, the Second Track dialogue meeting marks the first official function to be held in the university’s new Sir Samuel Griffith Building, a 6-star, green-star showpiece of modern, sustainable architecture.