Former PM Tony Abbott and a team of conservative pollies suggested the government should forcibly acquire the old coal plant Liddell to keep it running and save our grid.
Our current PM called this idea “socialist”:
This drew immediate criticism from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who accused Mr Abbott of suggesting that the Coalition adopt socialists policies of nationalising the means of production.
Our energy Minister, Josh Frydenberg, suddenly remembered how conservative governments support free markets:
The Energy Minister ….[said] there will be no subsidies for coal-fired power plants under a Turnbull government and [claims]that right-wing ideology has no place in the energy debate.
Who’re the socialists here?
Turnbull and Frydenberg are the same team who preside over a system which takes billions from some electricity generators to reward others and is intended to drive the former out of business. They bought the giant Snowy Hydro generator for $6b, and are planning to spend $4.5b to build a hydro storage “battery” that is only needed in order to stop their pick-the-winner favourite new generators from destroying the grid or the household budget, whichever comes first.
Apparently nationalizing a hydro generator is not “socialist” but nationalizing a coal one is. Find me a dictionary that can defend that one and I’ll show you a politically correct chock for the boat trailer.
The ideological people in this debate are the ones that are destroying coal businesses to change the weather.
What Abbott and co are suggesting is the only pragmatic option left in a semi-socialist and screwed electrical network. The government shouldn’t be buying coal plants, but when the government destroys the free market, grid efficiency and reliability — buying an old coal plant is the only sane icing left on this cake.
Obviously the free market answer is to get the heck out of messing up our grid in order to hold back the tide. Which is exactly what Tony Abbott has been trying to do for years. Abbott tried to shut the Renewable Energy Target, close the GONGOs and QUANGOs and get the government out of meddling and futile weather-controlling policies. Since the socialists wouldn’t let him, the only bandaid solution left is to buy up the parts the government hath baked and broke.
Where were Frydenberg and Turnbull’s cheers for the “free market” when Abbott was trying to recreate one?