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Will Labor legislate its 50% RET

Published: Monday, 27 February 2017

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Bill Shorten has added to the confusion surrounding Labor’s 50 per cent Renewable Energy Target (RET) contradicting his own 2016 election policy document.

Not only does Labor not know what it’s called, how much it costs or how it works, now Labor can’t even tell us whether it would be legislated or not.

Bill Shorten’s Climate Change Action Plan ahead of the 2016 election was quite clear:

“A Labor Government will ensure that the implementation of those reforms through Commonwealth law and the COAG Energy Council is ready to commence in 2020 to coincide with the commencement of the 2020 Emissions Trading Scheme and legislation relating to the 2030 target of 50% renewable energy generation.”

Labor Climate Change Action Plan, Page 15, April 2016

But in Bill Shorten’s effort to assure Australians as to the viability of Labor’s target last week, he said:

“50 per cent of renewables by 2030 is not an extension of the existing RET scheme.  It’s not something that we will need to legislate, because we are confident Australia will achieve it.”

Address to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Sydney, 23 February 2017

And only one week before that, it took Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen 20 questions to state that legislation would be required:

PATRICIA KARVELAS: I’m just asking a yes or no. It’s not really very hard to answer. Will you legislate it or not?

CHRIS BOWEN: “Well we will have legislation yes.”

But then Chris Bowen added more confusion to the mix stating legislation wouldn’t achieve the target:

CHRIS BOWEN: “It’ll be an ambition, but the point I’m making to you is that we, you can legislate, we could legislate 50 per cent and I could answer your question and say yes we’ll legislate 50 per cent.  But that wouldn’t achieve 50 per cent.”

Interview with Patricia Karvelas, RN Drive, 16 February 2017

Who should Australians believe? The Labor Party’s election policy? The Leader of the Opposition last week or the Shadow Treasurer the week before that?

Labor’s energy policy is a complete mess with even its front bench confused.

Australians can ill afford another Labor experiment like the one in South Australia that sacrifices energy security, jobs and investment.

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