As electricity and gas prices spiral apace, Malcolm Turnbull faces a real challenge to break the political deadlock on climate change policy that has persisted for a decade.
Business and industry are crying out for policy certainty.
Instead, the Clean Energy Target, which is a cornerstone of the Finkel report looks like being sidelined.
Energy Minister, Josh Frydenberg, insists electricity affordability must take precedence over carbon reduction. He cites ‘hardship’ stories from the streets.
While there is no doubting the authenticity of his claim, his government has attempted to cut small supplements to lowest income families and the unemployed (which were blocked in the Senate), has stood by while penalty rates have been reduced and is fully prepared to fund a $65 billion corporate tax cut.
The real reason for the Turnbull government’s ambivalence on climate policy is its fear of the sceptics within its very own ranks.