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Tony Abbott: ‘There are some arguments you just have to win’

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott isn’t backing down from his opposition to the government’s National Energy Guarantee (NEG), saying there are “some arguments you just have to win”.

Several government backbenchers, including the Member for Warringah, are unsatisfied with the current policy and are demanding the construction of a new coal-fired power station.

Today, Minister Josh Frydenberg told Ray Hadley the NEG would encourage private investment in new coal-fired power stations.

Mr Abbott tells Ben Fordham you can’t be a supporter of coal while investing billions into renewable subsidies.

“When he (Mr Fyrdenberg) says that the government is technology neutral, he’s wrong. He’s absolutely wrong.

“How can you invest $12 billion-plus in Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro and billions more in other renewable grants and loans and not be in practice, if not in theory, anti coal?”

The government is hoping to ratify their energy plan at August’s COAG meeting but the Federal Opposition is warning it could block the plan if it included subsidies for coal.

The former PM says the Coalition shouldn’t be held to the ransom of Labor premiers and a deal shouldn’t be struck on a “take it or leave it basis”.

“My fear is that the Minsiter is so keen to get a deal out of COAG that that’s what’ll happen.”

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