La­bor in Greens pul­pit

Townsville Bulletin - - OPINION -

COM­MENTS from Genex man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Michael Ad­di­son wel­com­ing a mix of re­new­able en­ergy and coal are re­fresh­ing.

It’s great to see peo­ple within the sec­tor recog­nis­ing that coal and re­new­able en­ergy can ex­ist side- by- side.

All or noth­ing ap­proaches sel­dom work when it comes to change.

Pro­pos­als for overnight change aren’t go­ing to stick.

We have to recog­nise that the change to re­new­ables will be a grad­ual process and in the mean­time we need power sources.

North Queens­land is cry­ing out for new in­fra­struc­ture to help bring power prices down and at the mo­ment coal is one of the best op­tions.

We need to have a bal­ance be­tween our green dreams for the fu­ture and the re­al­ity of what needs to be done to best sup­port the peo­ple of the North.

A coal- fired baseload power sta­tion could be a rea­son­able so­lu­tion to some of our woes.

For Mr Ad­di­son to recog­nise coal as the “bedrock of Aus­tralia’s en­ergy sys­tem” de­spite his com­pany be­ing be­hind the ma­jor so­lar and hy­dro project at Kid­ston is a sign that those in the in­dus­try recog­nise that the na­tion can­not make the switch to re­new­ables overnight.

His sug­ges­tion that un­lock­ing gas ex­plo­ration could re­duce power prices is also worth in­ves­ti­gat­ing fur­ther.

We need to be look­ing at all the op­tions and eco­nom­ics should play a big part in all th­ese de­ci­sions.

While the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment main­tains its ap­proach is “tech­nol­ogy neu­tral”, Mr Ad­di­son’s com­ments are some of the most sen­si­ble we’ve heard in a while. En­ergy ef­fi­ciency is im­por­tant but so is re­li­a­bil­ity and cost.

Any switch to re­new­able re­sources needs to be done with a healthy dose of re­al­ism and plenty of ex­per­tise from those that know the sec­tor best.

Let’s have more con­ver­sa­tions with en­ergy ex­perts.

Our re­gion de­serves eco­nom­i­cally sound plans, not ones sim­ply based on ide­al­ism. SPEED read­ing the Bulletin ( 7/ 7/ 17) and The Aus­tralian on the same day de­liv­ered a rare in­sight into the La­bor of old and its ALP post­mod­ern Greener ver­sion.

The Goe­bel­lian tech­nique rolled out by Pre­mier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk’s En­ergy Min­is­ter, Mark Bai­ley, con­tin­ues to grow, at­tack­ing the LNP’s en­ergy shadow min­is­ter, Michael Hart, over his right­ful ques­tion­ing of the Dr Alan Finkel re­port, as be­hoves any proper Op­po­si­tion.

The gam­ing of this whole Finkel re­port is as­suredly skewed in favour of the wind/ so­lar quick money re­new­ables, clean coal tech­nol­ogy lum­bered with a ‘ de­mur­rage’, mean­ing it must be ac­com­pa­nied by a ‘ wink/ nudge’ car­bon cap­ture and stor­age adding ex­tra costs to its re­turn on cap­i­tal with an ex­tra hur­dle of a spec­i­fied level of emis­sions con­trol. Yep, you got the drift. The Min­is­ter should be aware of this as I sus­pect he is, or maybe his green Sir Humphreys haven’t in­formed him. I think not.

Im­me­di­ately he con­tin­ues from the Green pul­pit, blam­ing the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment for the en­ergy cri­sis grid­lock and lack of fu­tur­is­tic plan­ning – no blame at all at­trib­uted to the states. He plucks ima­gin- ary fig­ures from nowhere whereby he states that we con­sumers will only pay 1.9 per cent per an­num in­crease on our en­ergy bills over the first three years of Palaszczuk’s ten­ure.

The Finkel Re­port CET sadly is ob­sessed with emis­sions re­duc­tion to a higher tar­get of 43 per cent; as Palaszczuk/ Bai­ley con­tinue with their drive to a 50 per cent RET in the North’s back­yard by 2030, ir­re­spec­tive of the hu­man costs in­volved or the en­ergy poverty this RET gen­er­ates, gouged from your pock­ets to ap­pease the ef­fete/ goat cheese cir­cle of in­ner city wannabes.

Per­haps Mr Bai­ley should up­date his in­for­ma­tion and check out Alan Mo­ran’s per­spec­tive on coal’s vi­tal re­quire­ment in any cost- ef­fec­tive mix for Aus­tralia.

Mean­while, for­mer La­bor lu­mi­nary and num­ber cruncher go- to man Gra­ham ‘ Ri­cho’ Richard­son’s piece in The Aus­tralian was di­a­met­ri­cally op­posed to any­thing that Mark Bai­ley stood for, out­ing the La­bor Party and the Greens as for­ever im­pla­ca­bly op­posed to any­thing to do at all with coal. The voice of yes­ter­day’s La­bor, Ri­cho rep­re­sents the quin­tes­sen­tial suc­cess­ful Hawke/ Keat­ing/ Peter Walsh ALP putting peo­ple be­fore ide­ol­ogy, an anath­ema to the mod­ern- day Palaszczuk ALP Gov­ern­ment whose in­ner city af­fec­ta­tions/ Green poli­cies are di­a­met­ri­cally op­posed to what is re­quired in the North. An ul­tra- su­per­crit­i­cal 1000MW HELE coal- fired- power sta­tion which will go a long way to pro­vide the ‘ sus­tain­able’ jobs of to­mor­row.

Main­tain the rage. Those politi­cians who op­pose cheap coal- fired power ... just vote them out. PETER J. SMITH,


IN DIS­PUTE: The Op­po­si­tion has a right to ques­tion Dr Alan Finkel.

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