19 May, 2021
Zali Steggall MP says the Morrison Government’s decision to fund the new gas-fired power plant in Kurri Kurri demonstrates it has abandoned any pretence of focusing on sensible economic management or liberal principles of minimal intervention in the free market.
“The Morrison Government is risking tax payer’s money on a gas-fired recovery at a time of eye-watering public debt,” Ms Steggall said.
“Energy experts have been saying that this gas power plant is the most expensive option on the table. The market has been clearly choosing batteries with pumped hydro as firming, not gas. Unfortunately, this Government is stuck in the past and stubbornly insisting on wasting more tax payer money on polluting fossil fuel technology.
“This clearly shows that the Prime Minister is giving lip service to the Australian public and international community that his Government is taking climate change seriously when in fact it is failing to accelerate Australia’s transition to clean energy.
“At a cost of at least $600 million, the Kurri Kurri gas-fired power plant represents an extraordinarily bad return on investment for the taxpayer. This is combined with the fact that it may only run at 2% capacity year-round, making this project an extremely expensive stranded asset.
“The announcement is also telling, as it was not part of the Treasurer’s Budget speech only last week. The Treasurer was clearly not keen to proudly announce this public spend on Budget night.
“The Government must bring to the table a proper market based national energy policy and not continue with these misguided anti-market interventions.
“We must also have credible policies - only this week the world’s top energy chief said Australia is running out of time to reach net-zero by 2050. The world and our trading partners are facing the challenge of emissions reduction while we are not.”
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