THIS CHAOTIC GOVERNMENT’S 19TH ENERGY POLICY

MARK BUTLER MP.
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2 months ago
THIS CHAOTIC GOVERNMENT’S 19TH ENERGY POLICY
MARK BUTLER MP
Welcome to this chaotic Government’s 19th energy policy.
 
Australia has to replace our existing ageing electricity generation. There is no question that renewable energy and storage is the cheapest form of new generation, it will lower power bills and lower emissions.
 
Labor welcomes that this latest iteration of energy policy seems to see renewables and storage, whether that be batteries or pumped hydro, in a positive light.
 
It’s good to see a change of heart from Minister Taylor who started his career as the poster boy for anti-wind farm rallies.
 
Unfortunately before the COVID-19 pandemic renewable energy investment had already collapsed by more than 50 per cent in 2019 and the Reserve Bank expects it will decline further over the next couple of years.
 
At this stage this latest policy is extremely light on details.
 
We want to be as constructive as possible to deliver investors the energy policy certainty they have been craving for seven years.
 
This Government, during its seven years of office, have never been able to land an energy policy which appeases the anti-climate cohort of their party room.
 
And already Minister Taylor has pulled a hamstring making sure that his anti-renewable colleagues know that expensive new coal is still in the mix, while also tipping his hat to expensive and dangerous nuclear power. 
 
It is not for Government to pick winners in energy policy, it is for the market to decide. Labor doesn’t understand why the Morrison Government seems so determined to continue to pick losers.   
 
Australians do not have to look too far into the recent past to find embarrassing examples of where technology has gone wrong, been misused or abused by this Government. Their misadventures include a compromised and substandard National Broadband Network, kneejerk and hamfisted encryption laws, and using artificial intelligence to hunt down innocent welfare recipients through Robodebt.
 
In November last year, former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull admitted that innovation was not Scott Morrison's "comfort zone". Yet Scott Morrison now wants Australians to trust him with innovation as a cornerstone of his energy and economic recovery plan.
 
This is a Government that has stumbled clumsily through technology policy, leaving a trail of missteps and mistakes in their wake. How can Australians now trust a 'roadmap' from a government that has been lost in the technology wilderness for seven years?