Di Natale: The reality is that coal is dead. We have Engie closing Hazelwood. They don’t see any future in coal. We have AGL, whose stated aim is to get out of coal. They have absolutely committed to closing down Liddell, that old clunker of a power station, because they understand that coal is dead. And yet here we have a government trying to conjure up some sort of spell, like a medieval wizard trying to bring coal back to life. The reality is that coal has no long-term future. Today, we learnt that the government, through Efic, a finance body, is going to throw good money after bad to try to continue to fund fossil fuel projects. They’re doing what they can to pressure AGL into keeping Liddell open. The reality is that we are seeing the decline of an industry, a whole sector in transition, and this government doing everything it can to stop that transition. They don’t have a national energy policy; they’ve got some slogans. Their policy is to try to keep these old clunkers going for a few more years in an effort to win a few votes and try to wedge the Labor Party. This is instead of acknowledging the reality that any comprehensive energy policy needs to recognise that there has to be more investment in renewables like solar and wind. There has to be an investment in storage like battery technology. Batteries are a game-changer, and yet here we have a government sticking their heads in the sand.

They have a go at the mob over there, calling him ‘Red Bill’, with allusions to the Labor Party being socialists. Well, the mob over there is prepared to throw taxpayer money at keeping this old clunker of a coal-fired power station open—unbelievable! It is absolutely remarkable that we are seeing a Liberal-National Party government that are a wholly owned subsidiary of the coal lobby. They have been captured by the coal lobby. Their energy policy is written and authorised by the coal lobby, thanks to those billion-dollar donations. The reality is we need to shut down coal in an orderly way and bring in more solar and wind. It is about energy efficiency and demand management, and that’s how we make the transition to a clean, renewable economy.

Chamber Senate on 11/09/2017Item MATTERS OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE – Renewable Energy Speaker: Di Natale, Sen Richard / Parliment Transcript used for reporting News