Turnbull Government must accept renewables saved its bacon – not its intervention on gas

Nicholas McCallum

MEDIA RELEASE: Saturday 23 June, 2018

No-one should believe the media release from the Turnbull Government stating that its intervention on gas is responsible for increased supply and lower prices.

But that is exactly what Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg and Resources Minister Matthew Canavan have done – taken credit for work done by the growing sector they keep trying to quash: renewable energy.

A new report from Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) on improved gas supply for Australia’s east coast suggests government intervention played a minor role, but the driving factors were attributed to lessening overseas demand for gas and a huge uptake of wind- and solar-generated power.

The AEMO said that with 4000 megawatts of renewable energy coming online in the next two years, current forecasts for gas-powered generation could be even lower.

But you would not get that from Ministers Frydenberg and Canavan’s press release, which makes no mention of this growing renewables sector at all and the impact it’s had on gas.

Electrical Trades Union of Australia National Secretary Allen Hicks said it was time the Turnbull Government came around to the role renewables will continue to play in Australia’s energy future.

“The only influence Frydenberg and Canavan had on gas-powered generation was scaring the public into believing renewable energy would not be up to the task. Turns out the opposite is true,” Mr Hicks said.

“But they claim they saved our bacon without even mentioning the huge role wind and solar played. This government simply cannot accept facts, even from government bodies.”

The AEMO report comes amid predictions indicate 92 per cent of Australia’s energy would be sourced from renewables and batteries within 30 years.

Mr Hicks said because the Turnbull Government was not interested in supporting jobs in the renewable energy sector, high prices and uncertainty in the energy industry would continue along with the internal Liberal Party politics.

“The Turnbull Government is continuing to tear itself apart over its energy policy, and with Tony Abbott wrecking Frydenberg’s already inadequate approach to renewables, it’s the public who are losing.

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“If Frydenberg and Canavan want to take credit for something, it should be their continued lack of leadership on energy and their undermining of renewable energy” Mr Hicks said.

Media enquiries: ETU National Communications Coordinator – Nicholas McCallum

0419 499 886, nicholas@etuaustralia.org.au


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