When all else is failing, all a panicking Prime Minister can do is try to pretend throwing more money at the Snowy Hydro feasibility study is news or leadership. It isn’t either.
In Senate Estimates in May this year, Snowy Hydro already confirmed they were expecting the feasibility study to cost $29 million and ARENA to put in $8 million of this cost.
At the same Estimates hearing, it was confirmed the Prime Minister has underestimated the total cost of the project, which could be as high as twice the original $2 billion flagged by the Government. In addition, it was revealed that even if the feasibility study stacks up, as do the environmental approvals and economic analysis, the project will take as much as seven years to complete.
While Labor supports the principle of pumped hydro projects to support a more reliable and cleaner electricity system, no one should be under the illusion Snowy Hydro 2.0 will fix the energy crisis hitting families and business today.
Neither will more talk fests with energy retailers – after having said on Friday the problem was solved.
Today the Government has revealed their analysis shows one million electricity customers paying more than they should be for energy. This is not only more evidence of the failure of the Turnbull Government to tackle the energy crisis, it is a massive underestimate.
All Australians are paying more than they would if our national Government implemented a clear national energy policy like a Clean Energy Target (CET). This is the clear advice of industry, states and all the experts, including the Government’s own Finkel Review.
A feasibility study isn't going to solve the energy crisis and bring down power bills and neither will another high tea with energy retailers.
The only thing that will is real national leadership, which means the Prime Minister standing up to his extreme right and working with Labor to implement a CET.
But because he is too weak to stand up to his party room, under Malcolm Turnbull jobs in renewables are down, pollution is rising and power prices will continue to go up, and up, and up.