ETU calls on Turnbull Government to embrace renewables and the winds of change with the NEG

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MEDIA RELEASE: Wednesday 18 April, 2018

It’s one day from the COAG Energy Ministers conference and there is still no clear position from the Turnbull Government on what the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) is supposed to achieve.


“It was hard to take Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg seriously last week when he said it was time to put the public first,” Electrical Trades Union National Secretary Allen Hicks said. 


“Clearly this was joke, just like Frydenberg’s under-wraps NEG policy.


“As far as we can tell the Turnbull Government’s NEG is supposed to address energy supply and carbon emissions, but so far it appears to do neither of these things,” Mr Hicks added.


“It looks like it will maintain the complex and costly National Energy Market and its emission reduction targets are embarrassingly low.


“The Liberals are always saying we should let the market decide. Well the market has decided and its putting its money in renewable energy.


“But Frydenberg, Turnbull – and Abbott – are doing all they can to keep Australian energy production and distribution in the 19th Century while the market is forging ahead in the 21st Century,” Mr Hicks added. 


A new report from Green Energy Markets found that with its current mediocre targets, the Turnbull Government’s energy policy “will deliver no meaningful emissions reduction benefit” in emissions reductions.


The Clean Energy Council has also said that unless the NEG sets a stronger reduction target, “there will not be enough new power generation built to replace the coal-fired power stations which will retire in the coming decades”.


Mr Hicks said the proposed reduction target of 26-28 per cent of 2005 levels by 2030 was “laughable” and that it would be locked in for five years was an international embarrassment.


“Australia should be leading the way on renewable energy but we’re being held back again by the Liberal Government that can’t embrace change,” he said.


“The world is embracing renewable energy and the market is investing in renewable energy. It’s time the Turnbull Government saw which way the wind was blowing,” Mr Hicks added.


Media enquiries:

ETU National Secretary – Allen Hicks

0419 721 037, [email protected]

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