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‘It’s what we’re all focused on’: Resource Minister vows to deliver lower prices amid reignited energy wars

A reignited coal-versus-renewables debate is unfolding within Liberal Party ranks, after Barnaby Joyce called for the favouring of new coal-fired power stations over the proposed $4.5 billion Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro project.

With the Government facing a final decision on whether to proceed with the scheme in December, the former deputy prime minister says the hydro project has become a cost blow out. That same expenditure could be redirected to fund the construction of at least one new coal-fired power station, with a more modest pumped hydro plant being viable elsewhere.

Resource Minister Matt Canavan says that ultimately, the Government will pursue whatever energy mix will generate the most downward pressure on prices.

“We can walk and chew gum at the same time. We should look at both these proposals on their merits,” he tells Luke Grant.

“The most important thing is we get power bills down. That’s what we’re all focused on.”

“We got a report from the ACCC recently. They recommended we should go and look at supporting investments in baseload, dispatchable, reliable power and that’s what we’re doing.”

“Building a coal-fired power station can in a short period of time alleviate pressure on prices.”

“ But unfortunately, we’ve got a Labor Party that’s in bed with the Greens and the renewable energy industry and they seem to only want one type of power. That’s power that is unreliable, it’s costly and it’s one of the main reasons why power bills are too high.”

 

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