The Courier-Mail

PM plans shock with price scare campaign


TONY Abbott is planning to re-run his successful anti-carbon tax campaign at the next election by warning that Labor’s plans for renewable energy and emissions trading will drive up power prices.

Mr Abbott labelled Labor’s planned emissions trading scheme an “electricit­y tax scam”.

“The ETS that Labor keeps talking about might as well be called an electricit­y tax scam, because that’s what it is, an electricit­y tax scam that will be scamming the consumers of Australia for years and years and decades and decades,” Mr Abbott said.

The Prime Minister predicted it could cost “$60 billion or more” to meet Labor’s plan for half of Australia’s power to come from renewable sources by 2030.

He said the “bizarre decision” on renewable energy by the ALP conference would lead to a “massive overbuild of wind farms, all of which has to be paid for by the consumers”.

This was dismissed by the Opposition and renewable energy advocates.

Labor strategist­s believe they can win votes from the Coalition with their plans for increased green energy because they can portray Mr Abbott as stuck in the past.

Bill Shorten hit back. “The Prime Minister just makes up numbers to scare people. He has no evidence or science,” he said.

The Opposition will appeal to consumers by arguing power prices will fall if there is more widespread use of solar and wind energy.

But some in Labor are still wary of campaignin­g on climate change because of the bruising they received after Julia Gillard introduced a carbon tax.

Mr Shorten also admitted his plans for 50 per cent of power from renewable energy would only work if both sides of politics backed it.

Mr Abbott brushed off divisions in his own Government about renewable energy after backbenche­r Sarah Henderson called for the Prime Minister to dump his plan to end subsidies for new wind power projects.

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