New federal energy minister appointed

Big Stick, climate, Ai Group

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has revealed his new cabinet.

The new PM said his new cabinet would “restore stability to the government” after the commotion in the past week, stemming from debate around national energy policy, that saw Malcolm Turnbull resign.

“This new Liberal-National team is a next-generation team,” Mr Morrison said.

“It is a team that are brought together to assure we have the stability necessary, but in addition to that, begin the work of healing that is needed after these most recent events.”

Josh Frydenberg will take on the role of Treasurer, leaving his former role as Minister for Energy and Environment split.

West Australian MP Melissa Price will take on environment, leaving Angus Taylor with the energy portfolio.

“It’s a great honour to be asked to join Scott Morrison’s Cabinet as Minister for Energy or as he described it ‘the Minister for reducing electricity prices’,” Mr Morrison said on twitter.

“A tough job, but an extremely important one that has a big impact on so many Australian households and businesses.”

Energy Networks Australia CEO Andrew Dillon said the energy portfolio is a challenging one and he looked forward to working with Mr Taylor on helping move energy policy forward.

“Never has there been a time when there’s been such a focus on the sector, with Australia’s complex energy system transforming rapidly,” Mr Dillon said.

“Enduring policies that can deliver affordable and reliable energy as we transition to a low emissions future continue to be the priority for energy networks.”

The Australian Energy Council’s chief executive Sarah McNamara said a national energy policy must remain a top priority for the government.

“It is vital the industry has the necessary framework to deliver affordable and reliable power, while we continue to manage an energy market in transition,” she said.

“The energy industry looks forward to working with Minister Taylor in his new role and assisting him with these challenges.”

Ms McNamara also thanked Mr Frydenberg for his management of the energy portfolio and congratulated him on his new role as Treasurer.

“Minister Frydenberg navigated a challenging policy debate and negotiations with the energy sector with great skill,” she said.

“We greatly appreciated his engagement and leadership. On behalf of the industry, I congratulate him and wish him the best in his new role.”

Mr Taylor’s grandfather, William Hudson, headed construction of the Snowy Mountains Scheme from 1949 to 1967 and, as a financial analyst, Mr Taylor wrote a report on reducing the cost of electricity that suggested the government drop the RET and save up to $3.2 billion by 2020.

He is known for his anti-renewables views and has campaigned against wind farms in the past.