‘Cowardly and reckless’ Turnbull turns his back on clean energy
The Prime Minister’s decision to abandon his commitment to the implementation of a Clean Energy Target as recommended by the Finkel Report has been slammed as a spineless and craven capitulation to his backbench by the head of the energy union.
Electrical Trades Union national secretary Allen Hicks said that workers, consumers and investors would suffer as a result of the decisions.
“Australia needs a clean energy target. We need certainty for business investment in renewables. We need lower power bills. And we need secure jobs in the growing clean energy sector,” Mr Hicks said.
“This is a cowardly and reckless decision that’s been made in the interests of appeasing internal actors in the Liberal and National Party Rooms. It is against the interest of Australians.”
Mr Hicks said that it was not only those in renewables who were affected by the decision.
“People working and investing in all parts of the energy sector need certainty to plan for their future. It is cruel and senseless to deprive them of that certainty.”
Mr Hicks said the Prime Minister’s recent showboating on energy policy was revealed as empty rhetoric by this decision.
“One the one hand Mr Turnbull is telling Australians we are paying too much for energy, on the other he is deciding not to bring prices down by committing to a CET.
“He’s telling us we need to secure our future energy supplies, but he has repeatedly scared off investors in generation capacity – especially in renewables – by showing that he cannot be trusted to implement policies that will provide the certainty needed to invest.”
Mr Hicks blasted the Prime Minister for using energy as a political distraction while failing to implement such a fundamental policy.
“The PM is happy to confect an ‘energy crisis’ when it suits him politically, to pick fights and make noise, but he can’t back any of it up. He can’t or won’t stop generators gaming the system to drive prices up. He can’t or won’t take meaningful action to regulate retail prices.
“And he can’t – or won’t – put in place the clean energy target that Australia needs to bring down power bills and secure our energy future.”