February 01, 2017

Just like his political donations, don’t expect the Prime Minister to come forward with his promised plans to address the national energy policy vacuum.

While observers won’t be surprised the Prime Minister can’t deliver a consistent national energy policy, many had high hopes he would at least announce national vehicle emission standards at today’s National Press Club speech. It doesn’t get any simpler for Malcolm Turnbull; a car that is sold in Australia will pollute more than a car sold in the UK, the USA and so on. 

But, after it was reported this week that Turnbull would announce vehicle efficiency standards in his Press Club address - presumably because the Prime Minister’s office were backgrounding on the speech’s content those hoping for some action from the Turnbull government were once again left disappointed.

It is crystal clear that this is just another sign that Malcolm Turnbull is nothing but a puppet for the hard right of the Liberal party, which made sure that vehicle standards were dropped and not mentioned in today’s speech.

This is only a matter of weeks after the hard right, led by Tony Abbott and Cory Bernardi, vetoed the Government’s consideration of a widely recommended emissions intensity scheme on the electricity sector.

Labor went to the election with a plan to introduce pollution standards for cars in line with the rules being introduced in the United States. Not only will those standards cut pollution, they’ll also cut fuel bills – resulting in a net saving over the lifetime of an average car of $7,000 according to the Climate Change Authority.

The Government has no plan to introduce vehicle emissions standards let alone to end investment uncertainty and deliver a sensible national energy policy.