Pensioners before Paris
For more than 18 months, I have been advocating for the central feature of our nation’s energy policy to be pensioners before Paris – that is to focus on reducing power prices, ensuring reliability of supply instead of slavishly driving up prices in order to meet an international target that all of the big international emitters have ditched or ignored.
Today’s speech by the new Energy Minister Angus Taylor is a game-changer. He has announced clearly and plainly that the Federal Government will prioritise price and reliability above all else – this is an enormous and positive step forward. The embracing of the ACCC’s blue-print will be of great comfort to many Australians who are concerned about meeting their cost of living pressures.
For my home state of Tasmania, it is positive to see that the Government will take a technology agnostic approach which means where the economics stack up for an enhanced baseload upgrade, such as in Tasmania, it will continue to be supported.
The approach that has been outlined by Minister Taylor today is a triple win by ensuring that power prices are reduced, reliability of supply is increased and that all energy markets, including Tasmania, are better off.
Importantly now, Labor must explain why they are so insistent on driving up energy prices in an effort to introduce a 45% emissions reduction target which will reduce reliability and drive up cost like never before.
I am appreciative that the Prime Minister, Treasurer and Minister Taylor have been so receptive to feedback from colleagues in seeking to resolve this matter expeditiously.