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Coalition rethinks ‘big stick’ energy bill, will take it to the election

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison is committed to his government’s “big stick” energy policy, despite deciding to leave it for the campaign trail.

The draft laws are in lower house limbo after being introduced by Energy Minister Angus Taylor in the final sitting days of parliament in December.

Labor opposes the proposal, which includes penalties and the potential forced break-up of energy companies.

They managed to delay debate on the draft laws last year despite the government’s attempts.

“We’re taking on those big energy companies to ensure they’re doing the right thing by Australians,” Mr Morrison told parliament on Wednesday.

“Our policies are designed to ensure there is reliable energy in the grid to ensure power prices come down and Australians can have the reliability that their lights stay on.”

Chair of the Coalition’s backbench environment and energy committee Craig Kelly tells Ross Greenwood “it’s good policy”.

“When it comes to the price of electricity we are going to be on the consumer’s side and the Labor Party is going to be on the side of the big energy companies.”

But Ross isn’t so sure, arguing that for a government to take over any business, because they don’t like how it’s operating, doesn’t “sound very Australian”.

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