GOVERNMENT’S ENERGY POLICY REVEALED. SALES PITCH AWAITS

The Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, looks to have delivered what he hopes is an election winning energy policy that provides reliability for the network, encourages costs savings for consumers and meets international emissions reduction targets, such as those agreed to as part of the Paris agreement.

Following Cabinet approval on Monday and party-room endorsement on Tuesday, the Government confirmed the pillars of its new energy policy would revolve around a new National Energy Guarantee (NEG). The NEG is made up of two parts: a reliability guarantee that will deliver dispatchable energy (from ready-to-use sources such as coal, gas, pumped hydro and batteries) and an emissions guarantee that will require energy retailers across the national grid to deliver reliable and lower emissions generation each year.

While one source of modelling from the Energy Security Board, which the Government has rigorously trumpeted this week, has estimated typical household bills will fall by an average of $100-$115 per year over the 2020–2030 period in the best case scenario, the Opposition was quick to ridicule and refute this claim.

The Opposition Leader, the Hon Bill Shorten MP, took to social media following the announcement, tweeting: “today, the choice was made clear: Labor is for renewable energy, Turnbull is for more coal and higher power bills”. However it was interesting that by Thursday morning, the Leader of Opposition Business in the House, the Hon Tony Burke MP, could not rule out Labor completely supporting the package. Appearing with Mr Kieran Gilbert on Sky, the Shadow Minister said “if you can get a bipartisan agreement here, it’s in the interest long-term of everyone, so we’re not rushing to say we will oppose this.”

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