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Transcript of doorstop: Canberra: 26 June 2018: Coalition's new coal fantasy; Malcolm Turnbull's energy crisis



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MARK BUTLER MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY MEMBER FOR PORT ADELAIDE

E&OE TRANSCRIPT DOORSTOP CANBERRA TUESDAY, 26 JUNE 2018

SUBJECT/S: Coalition’s new coal fantasy, Malcolm Turnbull’s energy crisis.

MARK BUTLER: This morning the energy committee of the Coalition Party Room is meeting to discuss the government’s latest attempt to come up with an enduring energy policy. For five years now, under Prime Minister Abbott and Prime Minister Turnbull, this government has been completely incapable of coming up with an energy policy that would underpin the investment that Australia needs to deliver affordable, reliable electricity for Australian households and businesses. As a result, Australia has been plunged into a very deep energy crisis, which is crippling household budgets and also threatening the viability of many, many businesses which employ hundreds and thousands of Australians.

Now it appears from reports this morning that instead of focusing on a policy that we know will actually underpin realistic investment, this energy committee, chaired by Craig Kelly, attended by people like Tony Abbott, instead is going to focus on a fantasy of Australia building new coal-fired power stations. When Malcolm Turnbull first floated this idea last year he was given a resounding message from business that new coal-fired power stations are simply uninvestable in this country. Indeed, the only businessman that indicated any interest in partnering with Malcolm Turnbull in such a venture was Clive Palmer, whose last great idea was building Titanic II. The Government was also given a message from the Energy Security Board that no investor is going to go near a new coal-fired power station. And Malcolm Turnbull’s own pet project, Snowy 2.0, it has been made very clear, it will only be viable with a high renewable energy future and not with new coal-fired power stations.

It is time for Malcolm Turnbull to engage in some plain speaking to his Party Room this morning. The longer the Coalition engages in these fantasies of building new coal-fired power stations, the longer Australians are going to have to wait for an energy policy that will start to put downward pressure on household and business power bills.

ENDS

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Authorised by Noah Carroll ALP Canberra