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Turnbull energy crisis escalates



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THE HON MARK BUTLER MP SHADOW MINISTER CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY MEMBER FOR PORT ADELAIDE

TURNBULL ENERGY CRISIS ESCALATES

The Turnbull Government has been hit this morning with more evidence of a growing energy crisis. The Prime Minister’s hope that attacking renewables will solve our energy problems simply doesn’t cut it in the real world. Households, businesses and the energy industry are facing skyrocketing electricity costs and unreliable energy supply.

Today we have had confirmed:

1) Rising electricity bills are primarily being driven by a national energy policy vacuum. 2) There is a looming shortage of domestic gas, which will impact industry as well as electricity generation. 3) New coal-fired power stations are in no way a viable solution.

Power bills across the nation are skyrocketing and in their submission to the Finkel review, The Australian Energy Council, stated:

“The lack of national policy certainty is now the single biggest driver of higher electricity prices.”

“The electricity cost of sustained national policy inaction is effectively equivalent to a carbon price in excess of $50 a tonne,” - Australian Energy Council.

The Climate Institute has found that policy uncertainty is costing households up to $360 per year in higher power bills.

Added to this is evidence of a rapidly growing gas crisis. Even the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) is predicting domestic gas shortages, with either electricity generation or industry unable to access enough gas.

But just last week, the Turnbull Government was exposed napping on this vital issue, with the Department of Treasury confirming they have “done no work specifically on the Australian gas market” (Treasury Estimates, 2/3/2017).

In contrast, the gas crisis was debated by Labor at the 2015 LNP National Conference. As a result, Labor took a gas export national interest test (NIT) to the last election, to ensure new gas export projects wouldn’t leave a shortage for domestic users.

The Government’s only policy response to the energy crisis is a coal con, to use taxpayer money to build new coal plants, which the power industry itself says are unbankable.

If all we’re going to get from this Prime Minister is more cheap politics, fantasy solutions and blame games, the Turnbull Government will go down as the Government that couldn’t keep the nation’s lights on.

THURSDAY, 9 MARCH 2017

MEDIA CONTACT: LUCY CARUSO 0408 803 428