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More Questions Than Answers On Turnbull's Energy Announcement

20 June 2017

The Andrews Labor Government is demanding more information on the Turnbull Government’s energy market announcement today.

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D'Ambrosio slammed Malcolm Turnbull’s plan, saying it lacked transparency and clarity, didn’t directly target prices and will take too long to work.

The Labor Government took a stronger, simpler gas plan to the Council of Australian Government’s meeting this month, which called for a cap on exports once domestic prices exceed those on the international market.

Local businesses are struggling to secure gas supply, because two-thirds of the gas we produce is being exported overseas.

Right now, it is cheaper to buy Australian gas in Japan than it is at home – a major market failure that is hurting local businesses and households.

Victorians can’t afford to wait for months while Malcolm Turnbull sorts through his unnecessarily complex plan to address this crisis. The Labor Government's gas proposal could be implemented with almost immediate effect.

The Labor Government has also been campaigning for more than a year for action on the limited merits review regime, given concerns about the significant costs involved – costs are ultimately borne by consumers.

Ahead of the COAG Energy Council in August 2016, Ms D'Ambrosio called for an urgent review of this process.

The changes to Australian Energy Market Operator's functions are also unclear as they are already monitoring supply in the market – this is what the market operator does.

The Prime Minister recently signalled future, wasteful Federal Government investment in coal power over renewables and storage, raising serious questions as to whether the Turnbull Government is already backing away from Dr. Finkel's recommendations.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D'Ambrosio

"It's hard to see this as anything other than a stunt. There will be no action on gas exports for six months and there is a serious lack of detail regarding anything new here."

"It's simply not good enough to say the export cap will be instituted at the Minsters discretion – Malcolm Turnbull should follow our lead and put the cap in place when domestic prices exceed those on the export market."

"The energy sector need policy certainty to invest – we're all waiting for the Turnbull Government to get its act together."

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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