Ab­bott has en­ergy as top tip for Ni­cholls

The Courier-Mail - - STATE POLITICS - MATTHEW KIL­LO­RAN, GREG STOLZ

FOR­MER prime min­is­ter Tony Ab­bott has urged Op­po­si­tion Leader Tim Ni­cholls to fight the state elec­tion on power prices, en­ergy and coal­fired power sta­tions.

The con­tentious is­sue gives a “clear choice” to vot­ers as de­bate rages over re­new­ables and coal power, ac­cord­ing to Mr Ab­bott.

Mr Ab­bott said Mr Ni­cholls should stay fo­cused on power, cost of liv­ing and keep­ing the lights on as the state inches to­wards the polls.

“The great thing is that there is a very clear dis­tinc­tion be­tween the LNP and the La­bor Party when it comes to en­ergy,” he said.

“La­bor is com­mit­ted to a 50 per cent re­new­able en­ergy target which will put prices through the roof and drive in­dus­try and jobs out of Queens­land.

“The LNP is com­mit­ted to the coal in­dus­try and the most prac­ti­cal form that com­mit­ment can take is to get crack­ing on a new baseload, coal­fired power sta­tion.”

Mr Ni­cholls said he and Mr Ab­bott both re­jected La­bor’s “crazy 50 per cent re­new­able en­ergy target”.

“An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk uses power as a hid­den tax which means Queens­lan­ders aren’t get­ting ahead,” he said.

Act­ing Pre­mier Cur­tis Pitt said Mr Ab­bott had avoided Queens­land while he was prime min­is­ter dur­ing the 2015 state elec­tion cam­paign.

“Tony Ab­bott in a Queens­land elec­tion cam­paign, yes please,” he said.

“Ab­bott urged Camp­bell New­man and Tim Ni­cholls to sell Queens­land’s coal-fired power sta­tions.

“Queens­land has the most se­cure elec­tric­ity be­cause we have coal, gas and re­new­ables.”

Mr Ab­bott, whose travel was be­ing funded by tax­pay­ers us­ing his al­lowance as a for­mer PM, was on the Gold Coast this week to speak at a Gold Coast Cen­tral Cham­ber of Com­merce func­tion.

He also at­tended a fundraiser for an LNP can­di­date in the up­com­ing state elec­tion and ral­lied sup­port­ers for the “No” cam­paign in the same­sex mar­riage postal vote.

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