Opposition leader Peter Dutton argues the Coalition has a “mandate” from its supporters to not support the government’s more ambitious emissions reduction target in Parliament.
Liberal leader Peter Dutton says he has been “clear” about not supporting the government’s plan to legislate its emissions target.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese last week announced the government is targeting a 43 per cent cut to emissions by 2030.
He said the nation was changing its target to achieve a more substantial emissions cut by the end of the decade compared to what was previously committed to by the Coalition.
Stream more local news live & on demand with Flash. 25+ news channels in 1 place. New to Flash? Try 1 month free. Offer ends 31 October, 2022
When asked if the Coalition would oppose the legislation in parliament, Mr Dutton pointed to the millions that voted for them at the election, arguing the party has a “mandate”.
“We went to the election, and we had a very clear policy. Millions of people voted for us on that basis,” Mr Dutton told Sky News Australia’s Chris Kenny.
“That was that we didn’t support the legislation and that is our position.
“I’ve been clear about that.”
Energy Minister Chris Bowen earlier on Wednesday argued the country is in a “race” to secure transmission and storage capacity for renewables.
“We’ve gone to the election with a very substantial policy of investing in transmission that’ll bring on more renewables,” Mr Bowen told Sky News Australia’s Kieran Gilbert.
“That’ll allow all that private sector investment to come forward and that’ll help us build the storage going forward, but we’ve got to build the framework for them to work properly.
“That means transmission and that means storage.”
Nationals leader David Littleproud has however cautioned against moving to renewables too quickly.
“70 per cent of energy on the eastern seaboard is delivered through reliable coal and gas,” he told Sky News Australia on Wednesday.
“You can’t move quickly to renewables because the battery storage capacity is not there. All you do is move away from affordable and reliable energy.”
It comes as the east coast energy market suspension is set to be lifted with authorities confident in the return of wholesale electricity supply after a shortage one week ago.
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) was forced to suspend the spot market for the first time since its creation in 1998 along the east coast last Wednesday with fears suburbs within four states and a territory would be plunged into blackouts.
The company said it was “impossible to operate” due to the shortfall in supply being blamed on a number of reasons including generators being offline, an increase in usage due to winter and international pressures such as the war in Ukraine.
AEMO Chief Executive Daniel Westerman said the energy market would begin to set the price from 4am on Thursday where authorities will monitor it for 24 hours before a decision on the lift to the market, provided there is supply guarantee.