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COAL HYSTERICS WON’T DISTRACT FROM GOVERNMENT ENERGY POLICY SHAMBLES

December 01, 2016

Through an embarrassing and hysterical statement from the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Mr Matt Canavan, the Turnbull Government is continuing to attempt to distract from their energy policy shambles.

The Turnbull Government are free to revert to hysterical lies and fear, but the Australian people expect the Government to have a national energy policy; something the Abbott-Turnbull Government, after over three years in office, has failed to deliver.

As a result, the calls from industry to address the uncertainty that is blocking investment just keep growing.

Recently we’ve seen the Leadership Forum on Energy Transition made up of business, community, scientific and other leaders, call for a national policy, including a planned and orderly closure of old and dirty coal stations, as well as a just transition for workers and support for renewable investment. All which were policies Labor took to the election.

The fact is a transition to clean energy is inevitable and a planned transition is better than the denial induced chaos which is the status quo under the Turnbull Government.

In fact, AGL, the largest owner of coal and gas generation in Australia has stated:

“If we do not see some type of rule-based mechanism for ensuring that that [transition to clean energy] is orderly versus disorderly, then it will have negative impacts for not only consumers but also communities, employees and a whole gamut of stakeholders in our space.” [Senate Inquiry into retirement of coal power generators]

In their latest Annual Report, AGL have made it clear more closures are coming, stating:

“AGL has made public commitments in relation to the retirement of coal fired power generation and withdrawal from gas exploration. AGL is committed to an orderly transition away from high emission thermal generation”

A global energy transition is already happening. The International Energy Agency’s latest global renewable update, reported that the majority of new electricity capacity built in 2015 was renewables.

The Governments need to take responsibility and answer some basic questions:

If more coal closures are inevitable as the industry itself says is the case, what does the government think will replace that generation?

New coal plants? With no climate policy post 2020, who do they think will invest in new coal in Australia?

Renewables? With no policy to support new renewable investment after 2020, who do they think will invest in renewables post 2020?

Gas? With experts warning of a looming gas shortage and restrictive (Liberal and Labor) state policies on new gas development, who do they think will invest in new gas?

The Government realises they are presiding over an accelerating energy crisis being driven by their inability to deliver sensible policy. The Government can’t blame Labor for their own policy paralysis.

The Australian people won’t fall for it; they know whose job it is to govern and they know they deserve better.

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