Government mum about redesigning Clean Energy Target

13 Sep 2017By Greg Dyett


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SBS World News Radio: The Federal Government is refusing to comment on reports it wants to redesign the proposed Clean Energy Target.



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Chief scientist Alan Finkel has called for a target to help Australia reach its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 per cent by 2030.

But his recommendation is not popular among some members of the Government, including former prime minister Tony Abbott.

Key Coalition members are playing down talk any future Clean Energy Target might be renamed and redesigned to make it more politically palatable for climate-change sceptics.

All the Coalition will confirm is the key role that coal-fired power will continue to play in the energy mix under its watch.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is among those emphasising what he sees as the importance of coal-fired power as a reliable source of electricity.

"We are going to make sure we keep power affordable and reliable, look after the Australian people, look after those who are doing it tough and the weatherboard and iron* and the regional towns, because, for them, they can't afford the power price. This is a fantastic discussion, but, for them, the reality in their life is they're becoming poorer if we don't deal with the power issue, which is what we intend to do."

Treasurer Scott Morrison maintains the Labor Party has long wanted to shut down coal plants with no regard for Australia's energy security or for jobs.

"This Government, the Turnbull Government, stands up for jobs in those industries, while those opposite** have a policy to shut them down, cheering on the closure of Hazelwood, cheering on AGL as they close down Liddell ..."

Debate over power prices continues, with the Coalition saying they more than doubled under the previous Labor government.

The Opposition -- this time, climate-change spokesman Mark Butler -- continues to use question time to push its argument about who is responsible for the rise in the price of power.

"My question is to the Prime Minister. Since this Government came to office, power bills have gone up by a thousand dollars for the average Sydney household. That figure is based on data from the government's own Australian Energy Regulator and the Australian Energy Market Commission, reported in The Australian newspaper. Why is the Prime Minister refusing to admit that power prices have never been higher than they have been under this Government? Everyone else knows it. Why won't the Prime Minister admit it?"


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