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‘Labor does demonise coal’: Frydenberg invalidates Shorten on energy policy

Luke Grant

Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg has accused Federal and Victorian Labor of having “diametrically opposed” policies on coal.

In a surprise move, the Andrews Labor Government will now require energy companies to give five years’ notice before closing down a coal-fired power station.

The mining licences of two Latrobe Valley power plants have also been extended to 2051 and 2065 respectively.

Mr Frydenberg suspects the fall-out after Hazelwood’s shutdown prompted the move.

“When Hazelwood closed, it meant 25% of Victoria’s energy supply was taken out of the market overnight,” says Frydenberg.

“Wholesale prices, which are one-third of your power bill, went up quite dramatically.”

“I think the Andrews Government was stung by that ramification and that is why they’ve reacted in this way.”

Mr Frydenberg was quick to point out how at odds this policy is with Federal Labor’s approach to coal.

“There is so much ideology attached to the left-of-center’s energy policy.”

“Labor does demonise coal. We’ve got to bring them to account for their policy which is to bring back a new electricity tax, to close down coal-fired power stations and to pursue recklessly high targets.”

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Luke Grant