Greens climate change and energy spokesperson Adam Bandt MP today slammed revelations from Labor that they would allow the construction or refurbishment of coal-fired power stations if the contracts were signed under the Liberals before the election. Mr Bandt also attacked Labor’s apparent confirmation that they would revive the zombie NEG to be their climate and energy policy for the electricity sector.
“Labor will have blood on their hands if they honour a contract to build a new coal-fired power station,” said Mr Bandt.
“If a contract to build or extend a coal-fired power station is signed before the next election, Labor has just confirmed they’d wave it through if they proceeded to form government.
“While Labor would ‘honour’ any contracts, the Greens would rip them up.
“Labor will pay dearly at the ballot box if they continue with this policy announced by Chris Bowen today. Bill Shorten needs to overrule his Shadow Treasurer.
“Signing a contract for a new coal-fired power station is like signing a death warrant for the Australian people.
“This despicable admission from the Labor party shows that they’re as bad as the Liberals on coal.
“If that wasn’t enough, it appears that Labor confirmed it would take the zombie NEG as their policy to the next election.
“The NEG is an unproven, opaque mechanism that was cooked up to get through a climate-denying backbench. Instead of reviving a discredited policy, Labor should be revisiting policies that actually work.
“Labor have only committed to a pro-rata 45% reduction in the electricity sector and do not appear to have any plan to reduce emissions in other parts of the economy.
“What we’ve learnt today is that Labor is a pro-coal party with no credible climate plan.”
Contact: Gideon Reisner, 0429 109 054
Phillip Coorey: On energy, one of the things Angus Taylor said yesterday is that using this recommendation to under-write the investment in new plants, either through a loan or a purchase guarantee, that they’ll have a shortlist of projects ready to go early in the new year, which we understand could be as early as January. If any of these projects are contracted before the election, would Labor reserve the right to reverse any contract? I know it’s a bit hypothetical, but you can see where the government is going here. Would you be locked into any coal-fired power station for example that the government contracts?
Chris Bowen: As Mark said, this is policy on the run and if the Liberal/National government wants to engage in such poor policy that they are prepared to risk the national interest in doing this quickly, in a haphazard way, that is on them. Labor honours contracts, we don’t create sovereign risk. That’s been our consistent position across the board when it comes to any matter in the economy. We honour contracts, we don’t create sovereign risk…To answer your question, our position has always been consistent on a range of matters. An incoming Labor government honours contracts, even ones that we thoroughly and completely disagree with.
Joe Kelly: Mr. Butler, could I just clarify something? If Labor wins office at the next election, to meet the 45% emissions reduction target you’ve set, your preferred mechanism to do that would be the National Energy Guarantee that Mr. Turnbull and Mr. Frydenberg were working on, to meet that target?
Mark Butler: Well certainly in the energy sector. The Paris targets apply across the economy but the debate has been about the energy sector. The very clear view is that bringing the different stands of energy policy, reliability and emissions reduction together in the NEG, is the best way to do that.