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Josh Frydenberg - Liberal for Kooyong
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Australian families more than $300 worse off under Labor's EIS

Published: Tuesday, 24 October 2017

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While the Coalition’s National Energy Guarantee will reduce average household power bills by up to $115 a year, Bill Shorten’s Emissions Intensity Scheme (EIS) will do the opposite, increasing them by at least $190 a year. When it comes to power bills, the contrast is clear: just on the wholesale component alone, you would be $300 worse off under Labor.

Labor’s policy would hit not only the affordability, but also the reliability of the National Electricity Market, as it would shut down 17,000 MW of coal capacity or the equivalent of 75 per cent of the NEM’s coal fleet.

In the past week, Labor members have variously claimed that Labor’s policy is a clean energy target, a 50 per cent renewable energy target and an EIS, with two frontbenchers stating that Labor has an EIS:

Deputy Leader Tanya Plibersek: “Our Emissions Intensity Scheme, which is our preferred model…” ABC AM, 19 October 2017

Shadow Assistant Energy Spokesman Pat Conroy: “…we will take an economically responsible policy to the next election, as we did to the last election, around an EIS.” Sky News, 18 October 2017

While Labor has never modelled its policy, the Climate Change Authority in its 2016 Special Review Research Report clearly modelled an EIS with around 50 per cent renewables, a policy which mirrors Labor’s EIS.

So it was not surprising that Shadow Energy Spokesman Mark Butler today tried to muddy the waters by claiming the modelling involved an internationally linked carbon price. Unfortunately for him, the modelling report plainly and directly contradicts his assertion:

“Each policy scenario… omits the use of offsets from other sectors, or international permits or credits in meeting the emission budget for electricity generation.” CCA, Overview of Modelling, p. 2

Labor’s desperate attempts to muddy the waters were on show in the excruciating press conference by Mark Butler. These days, Labor struggles to hold a line from week to week, but Mark Butler couldn’t even hold the line throughout his press conference:

JOURNALIST: “What have you done on your policy?”

BUTLER: “Ours has been the one consistency in this debate…”

But only four questions later in the same interview, he said:

BUTLER: “…we’ve shifted our position twice in the last 12 months…”

This shambles from Labor explains why Bill Shorten did not ask a single question on energy in today’s Question Time. Bill Shorten should surrender and get on board with the National Energy Guarantee.

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