Whether it’s with copper or with coal, Turnbull’s policies are taking Australia backwards
THE HON MARK DREYFUS QC
ACTING SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR NATIONAL SECURITY
MEMBER FOR ISAACS
THE HON MARK BUTLER MP
SHADOW MINISTER CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
MEMBER FOR PORT ADELAIDE
MALCOLM TURNBULL MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO DO TO ELECTRICITY WHAT HE HAS DONE TO THE NBN
In his speech at the National Press Club last week Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said:
“The next incarnation of our national energy policy should be technology agnostic”
MALCOLM TURNBULL, ADDRESS TO NATIONAL PRESS CLUB (1 FEBRUARY 2017)
Does this rhetoric from the Prime Minister sound familiar from somewhere? Of course – it’s how he describes the National Broadband Network.
So how did that policy fare?
The NBN multi-technology mix is an incoherent debacle that has led to a $25 billion cost blowout and forced the Government to step-in with a $19.5 billion loan. Last week on ABC radioNBN Co Chief Executive Bill Morrow again denied that the loan was given to ‘rescue’ Malcolm Turnbull’s second rate NBN, yet the Government still refuses to release the credit ratings the company received.
Worse still, Australia is left holding a second-rate copper network that will be a drag on economic potential for decades to come.
The Australian people are being treated with the same disdain by this Prime Minister on energy policy as they have been with the National Broadband Network. While they claim they support ‘technology agnostic’ policy, their real plan is nothing more than pushing for more inflexible, polluting and expensive coal power.
At the same time, the Turnbull Government rejects a genuine technology-neutral emissions intensity scheme – which is supported by all stakeholders and estimated to save $15 billion in electricity costs – all because it is Labor policy.
Whether it is with the NBN or energy policy, Malcolm Turnbull uses the term ‘technology agnostic’ to provide cover when he lacks the political conviction to pursue evidence-based policy in the long-term interests of the nation.
Whether it’s with copper or with coal, Turnbull’s policies are taking Australia backwards.
TUESDAY, 7 FEBRUARY 2017