Liberal sources have confirmed to the ABC the party will direct preferences to One Nation in the upcoming West Australian state election.The deal means the Liberals will preference One Nation ahead of the Nationals in the Upper House in regional areas.
A coalition of business, energy, investor, climate and welfare groups has issued a sharply worded wake-up call on the energy debate, declaring "finger pointing" and 10 years of partisan politics have destroyed investor confidence in Australia's energy sector, "worsening reliability risks".<snip>While the Turnbull government has blamed renewable energy for recent blackouts in South Australia as part of a political strategy to emphasise points of difference between itself and the ALP, the statement is blunt about what is causing the current problems in the grid.It says more than a decade of "finger pointing" has destroyed investor confidence in the energy sector, making new investment "impossibly risky"."This has pushed prices higher while hindering transformational change of our energy system. The result is enduring dysfunction in the electricity sector," the statement says.The group issues a clear warning: "There is simply no room for partisan politics when the reliability, affordability and sustainability of Australia's energy system is at stake."
Turnbull government statements blaming last year's South Australian blackout on its high renewable energy target ignored confidential public service advice stating that it was not the cause, according to emails obtained under freedom-of-information rules.With a febrile debate over renewable energy versus coal-fired generation suddenly raging in Canberra, the revelation is set to undermine the Coalition's energy messaging and shatter confidence in its call for investment certainty through sober debate and bipartisan policy solutions. Advice to the government dated September 29, 2016 - the day after the whole of SA went black following a devastating storm - suggested the problem had not been the state's high reliance on wind generation, but rather because key parts of its electricity distribution network were wrecked during a severe weather event.
Turnbull is asked about the advice to his department on the South Australian black out. "This is a classic case of misrepresentation by the Labor Party and by the left generally. Let me be very clear, of course windmills did not cause a black-out, the black-out, as I have said many times, was caused by a storm breaching transmission lines. That is perfectly obvious. That is the only point that was made. However, the introduction of a massive amount of wind energy, so variable renewable energy made the SA grid very vulnerable. Very, very vulnerable indeed to breaches in transmission lines and the overloading or pressure on the interconnector with Victoria which, as you know, is bringing in coal-fired power from the Latrobe Valley."
One of the country's largest operators of coal-fired power stations has joined the chorus of big business, unions, welfare and environmental groups calling for an end to Canberra's blame game over renewables.Energy Australia took the unprecedented move of taking out a full-page advertisement in a national broadsheet declaring its support for a non-partisan push for clean energy.
More than $5bn used for reforms to safeguard the Murray-Darling river system from drought has been largely in vain, new research has found.About $3bn of taxpayers' funds used for improving farm irrigation had been a boon to private individuals but led to no cut in water use from the start of the last drought crisis, according to the Australian National University study.Quenton Grafton, the director of ANU's centre for water economics, which has tracked water use under the plans since 2012, said policy makers needed to "go back to the drawing board". Grafton said there was "no discernible impact in terms of reduced water use on a per-hectare basis, or in terms of reduced water diversions"."More than $5bn in the past 10 years has been spent on recovering water by irrigators (on and off farm) or buying water entitlements, yet there is very little to show for it," he said.
Weatherill is asked, isn't it a waste of money given we will have a federal policy soon which may blow your plans out?The premier says he is not holding his breath for the feds."All of the policies we're proposing will be complementary to what we understand will be recommended by the chief scientist in the Finkel review. We have no confidence that those changes, at least the fundamental ones, will occur any time soon."
"What has become apparent to us is, in December, when the Prime Minister walked away from an emissions intensity scheme, despite it being recommended by the chief scientist, when we had the extraordinary situation with Pelican Point in February not turning on but instead choosing to black out South Australians, the closure of Hazlewood, all of those factors have led us to the conclusion that we need to step up and take control of our own future, not rely upon anyone else.We will advocate at a national level for change but we can't wait for that change. SA is leading. We need to protect ourselves in the meantime before there is some coherent national energy policy emerge at that Federal level."