Economic oblivion is on the horizon for Queensland with the LNP appearing to have joined Labor in their ideological journey on energy policy, State KAP Leader and Traeger Robbie Katter has warned.
Mr Katter said in an unanticipated, but perhaps unsurprising, development the Queensland LNP had gone all in on the ideological energy debate.
He said it was clear in their submission made to the Federal Senate Enquiry into the “prerequisites for nuclear energy in Australia”, that the Queensland LNP party were more interested in ideology than looking at all options, both short
and long-term, for delivering the cheapest and most reliable energy for Queensland households and businesses.
The Traeger MP said although the LNP was entitled to whatever opinion it wanted, it appeared the party was now “playing it safe” on energy and was prepared to go all in on renewables.
“I’m disappointed, but not really surprised, that the LNP are taking such a narrow view on energy,” Mr Katter said.
“I think the most important thing for delivering good energy policy is being willing to look at, and accept, any option that delivers the cheapest and most reliable power.
“It looks as though the LNP have lost their mettle and caved into the irrational ideological fear that now drives our energy debate.”
Mr Katter said the energy system was complex and having an uncompromising position on particular sources of generation was a waste of time and money.
“The electricity system is incredibly complex and it is stupid to think that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ renewable or coal position will bring down electricity prices,” he said.
“We need to look at all options for dealing with the short and long-term problems in the electricity system and nothing should be off the table.
“In some circumstances thermal generation is going to be the best option and in other circumstances renewables are going to be the best option, and if there is long term opportunity to use nuclear then that shouldn’t be off the table.
“The KAP is only focussed on ensuring prices are as low as possible and we will back any solution that delivers that outcome.
“For the North, that’s building CopperString to unlock the cheap renewable resources around Hughenden and connect the existing gas-fired generation in Mount Isa to the east coast grid.
“In central and south west Queensland the solution may be to commit to extending the life of existing coal-fired power stations, which will send the right market signals and give energy-intensive businesses the confidence to make long-
Mr Katter said the KAP’s policy on energy was simply to ensure prices were as low as possible which included the removal of the regulatory asset pricing model approach that artificially inflates customer costs.
This will effectively take power bills back towards cost, removing the large tax that the government takes out of each bill.