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Nationals backbencher insists leader is ‘taking the ball up’ despite silence on energy policy

A Nationals backbencher who’s pushing for changes to the federal government’s National Energy Guarantee insists he’s “extremely happy” with the job his leader’s doing despite being silent on the issue.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has avoided commenting on the government’s energy policy despite calls from within his own party to get more coal-fired power into the energy mix.

Nationals MP Andrew Gee says as a backbencher he’s more “free” to express his views and insists the Nationals leader is “taking the ball up”.

“But is he delivering for country areas when he’s not talking about what everybody else in the county is talking about, the cost of power prices, the cost of electricity?” Mark Levy asks.

“I think he is taking the ball up and I think let’s see where we end up with this,” Mr Gee says.

“I think we’ve got to give him a go.”

Mr Gee is amongst a growing number of Coalition MPs calling for the National Energy Guarantee to prioritise the building of coal-fired power stations.

The Member for Calare says the current plan isn’t good enough.

“The National Energy Guarantee, to me, it’s like having a power box. There’s one dial for reliability and there’s one dial for emissions, but I really think that the missing dial is price.”

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