PM tells Labor to ‘put politics aside’ for energy plan

malcolm turnbull

After announcing its new power plan yesterday, the federal government is now under pressure to get Labor-run states on board.

In the federal government’s plan, the clean energy target recommended by the Finkel review has been dumped and replaced with a National Energy Guarantee (NEG).

The NEG is made up of two parts, a reliability guarantee and an emissions guarantee, that will require energy retailers across the NEM to deliver reliable and lower emissions generation each year.

Victoria, Queensland and South Australian governments are set to make Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull work hard if he wants support for his plan.

Speaking today at a doorstop in Canberra, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told state governments to “put politics aside”.

“The COAG set up the Energy Security Board… There were more Labor governments involved with appointing these experts than there were Liberal ones, or Liberal-National ones,” the PM said.

“COAG has asked them for their advice on this very issue and they will obviously get the same advice.

“And so my message to the Labor Premiers is: put the politics aside for a moment – put it aside for quite a while in fact – let’s focus on Australian families, let’s focus on delivering a genuinely bipartisan energy policy.

“It will be enduing, it’s based on engineering and economics and that will deliver affordable power, reliable power and meet our international commitments.”

Queensland Energy Minister Mark Bailey has requested a detailed analysis of the NEG.

He said the state would consider this new proposal put forward, but further information was needed.

“We understand how important it is to finally end the policy uncertainty that has prevailed under the Abbott and Turnbull governments, but we need the federal government to work with the states in detail to ensure the proposal actually delivers for Queenslanders,” Mr Bailey said.

“As Federal Energy Minister Frydenberg acknowledged in the COAG Energy Council teleconference to discuss the plan, there has been no modelling undertaken to back up the proposal, including claims of bill reductions for customers.

“Given Queensland has retained ownership of its power generators, we are better placed than other jurisdictions to be able to be able to assist the Turnbull Government to honour its power generation guarantee.”

Mr Bailey said that during the meeting, states and territories secured a commitment from Minister Frydenberg to provide them with a copy of the terms of reference and modelling once available.