Labor is calling on the government to resurrect the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) after Independent candidate Kerryn Phelps won former prime minster Malcolm Turnbull’s Wentworth seat at this weekend’s by-election.
According to The Australian, polls show climate and energy policy was a key factor in voters’ decision to turn their backs on the Liberals, with Phelps vowing to make climate and energy policy a priority.
Labor climate spokesman Mark Butler told reporters in Canberra the government reeded to return to the National Energy Guarantee policy.
“I’m calling on the prime minister to reverse his position to drop the National Energy Guarantee,” he said.
“There would be no more symbolic decision than returning to the table with Labor to negotiate a bipartisan energy policy to start to expand renewable energy, bring down carbon emissions and, as we know from all of the modelling, bring down electricity prices as well.”
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Energy Minister Angus Taylor will meet with his state counterparts on Friday to discuss the reliability guarantee – one of the pillars of the NEG.
The Coalition has reaffirmed its stance on reducing energy prices, with treasurer and former minister for energy and environment Josh Frydenberg telling Sky News people in Sydney’s eastern suburbs were concerned about climate change, but the government did not intend to “reduce emissions at the expense of people’s power bills”.
The NEG was proposed by the Turnbull government in 2017 and was abandoned after the leadership challenge in August that saw Scott Morrison become Australia’s 30th prime minister.