03 August 2017

Labor welcomes Treasurer Scott Morrisons latest intervention on energy policy.

Signalling the Government acknowledges the damage its national energy policy vacuum is doing, Treasurer Scott Morrison is today reported in Rockhamptons Morning Bulletin as saying:

politics as usual on energy policy, has led to business as usual, which has meant ever increasing electricity prices

Credit to the Morning Bulletin for obtaining Scott Morrison's comments - Labor hopes that Mr Morrison wasn't thinking that because it was a regional newspaper, nobody would notice.

Labor has made it clear we are ready to negotiate a Clean Energy Target (CET) as recommended by the Finkel Review, to end the policy chaos and deliver investment certainty and lower prices to Australian energy customers. However, until today, we have not received any reply from the Government, which has been hopelessly divided on the issue of a CET.

We welcome Treasurer Morrison signalling a shift in the Governments approach, where he is quoted as saying:

Australians want their political parties to meet in the middle and deliver certainty on energy policy, because only through certainty will there be downward pressure on energy prices.

Treasurer Morrison goes on to say:

This requires sacrifice, from both sides, putting aside ideological positions to strike a deal that delivers genuine results for Australians struggling to pay their power bill. Scott Morrison, Morning Bulletin, Rockhampton, 3/08/17

We agree thats why Labor has already said were ready to sacrifice our preferred policy of an emissions intensity scheme to negotiate a CET. But, while its been two months since the Chief Scientist Alan Finkel handed his CET recommendation to the Turnbull Government, all we have seen is Government infighting while electricity prices just keep going up and up.

Labor is willing to meet anywhere, anytime to get the ball rolling on solving our energy crisis. We will await confirmation from Energy Minister Frydenberg and Prime Minister Turnbull that the Treasurers offer is genuine rather than the Treasurer freelancing without the Prime Ministers approval.