Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Another day, another Rudd thought bubble.

Download PDFDownload PDF

12 April 2007


Opposition leader Kevin Rudd's announcement today on smart electricity meters is just more superficial policy making on the run.

"Mr Rudd's stunts are all sound bites without substance. He likes to set feel-good targets, preferably years away, without offering any policy detail. The targets are arbitrary and there is no explanation about how they are to be achieved," Australian Minister for Industry, Tourism & Resources, Ian Macfarlane, said.

"Today's thought bubble on smart electricity meters is typical. It is really old news. The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed in February 2006 to a progressive, national roll-out of electricity smart meters. Trials are underway. Tomorrow, COAG will hopefully agree to the next stage.

"The responsible approach is to make these decisions on an informed basis. For that reason, progress is being made on a national cost-benefit analysis.

"The Ministerial Council on Energy is also working on the policy changes to make smart meters effective, in particular promoting a more competitive retail electricity market. Unless consumers can benefit from using smart meters, the technology will fall short of its potential.

"Mr Rudd likes to strike a pose and then move quickly onto other issues. But a string of half-baked targets and promises developed on the run is not effective, responsible government. The Howard Government will continue to do the hard policy work," Mr Macfarlane said.