Turnbull Govt ‘asleep’ on energy policy

OpinionWith many lower to middle class families struggling with stagnant wage growth and the ever rising cost of living the dramatic rises in the cost of electricity and gas over the last three years has been the last straw.

While the Turnbull government may seek to blame Neolithic man for their plethora of policy failures, the recent release by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) of their report, ‘Retail Electricity Pricing Inquiry’, clearly shows that when it comes to energy policy, the Turnbull government has been asleep at the wheel.

Now having finally woken up they are ridden with ideological division.

As Mark Butler said, “In just 24 hours this important report on Australia’s energy crisis has been hijacked by the coal zealots in the Coalition party room”.

And to do so they had to make up stories about the reports content.

ACCC chief Rod Sims dismissed suggestions the landmark report backed government support for coal, as Coalition figures used the claim to push for public subsidies for a new coal-fired power plant.

‘‘It is technology neutral, and if you are interested in affordability, best to stay that way,’’ Mr Sims said. ‘‘It’s not targeted at baseload power and it’s not targeted at coal.’’

But that hasn’t stopped Queensland LNP Senator, Canavan from claiming otherwise.

For too long, recommendations for sensible change have been lost in the fog of the civil war being waged in the Coalition Party Room over energy policy and it’s costing those struggling families every day.

As my colleague Jim Chalmers has noted, “The government promised us that if they got rid of the carbon tax, power prices would come down by $550 a year. What they have done is put them up by $630 in just this last year.”

In the past five years while the Turnbull government has dithered Labor has been working on detailed and well considered policy across a number of major issues with energy policy one of the most fundamental as Mark Butler noted recently, “We’ve been saying for some years and this report confirms that the national electricity market is fundamentally broken. It’s simply not working in the interests of Australian consumers.”

Liberal engineered privatisations have led to gouging, profiteering, shortages and consumer pain as the Super Saturday by-elections draw closer voters should remember who created this mess and who left it to fester.

To read the full ACCC report visit https://www.accc.gov.au/regulated-infrastructure/energy/electricity-supply-prices-inquiry/final-report

Claire Moore MP, Senator for Queensland



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