Government MPs mull national energy policy

 armidaleexpress.com.au  8/12/2018 5:33:22 PM 

Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg is confident his coalition colleagues will back the National Energy Guarantee after the plan won in-principle support from the states and territories.

Several high-profile government backbenchers, including Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce, have threatened to scuttle the policy.

But Mr Frydenberg believes there is strong support in the coalition partyroom ahead of a crucial meeting on Tuesday.

"My colleagues have been briefed by the miners, the manufacturers, the farmers and the industry groups who say this is the only game in town to reduce people's power bills," he told the ABC on Sunday.

Mr Frydenberg unloaded on Labor states including Victoria for making "crass, calculating" last-minute demands to reshape the policy.

"This is politicking and posturing and what the sector wants is investment certainty," he said.

"We have to disassociate the crass short-term political calculations going on in Victoria from the long-term national interest."

Mr Frydenberg has rejected demands from the "spooked" Victorian government to have the proposed 26 per cent emissions reduction target set by regulation, rather than legislation.

He insists threats of blackouts are "absolutely real" should the states reject his plans.

The federal opposition wants a 45 per cent emissions reduction target and is calling for the setting to be reviewed sooner than 2024.

Labor senator Kristina Keneally said it was unclear how the target would be set and whether it would be able to be scaled up.

Senator Keneally said the opposition was willing to work with the government, but would not be handing it a blank cheque.

Australian Associated Press

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