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Libs in shock win as APPEA calls for climate policy

20 May 2019 4:34 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

IN an unexpected upset the Liberal-National coalition led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been delivered back into power with an estimated 77 seats at this point and the ability to form a majority government. 

What exactly this will mean for energy policy isn't clear given going into the election the incumbent party spent little time campaigning on climate and emissions targets. However Scott Morrison has already told radio shock jock Alan Jones the government's energy policy will remain on the same course. 

"We set out all our energy policies at the election, and that's what I'm going to do. It includes a continuation of coal fired power as part of the baseload power. It includes hydro. It includes gas," he said after Jones asked for a specific commitment to coal-fired power to reduce household energy prices.  

"There's no change to our policies there. What I took to the election is what I'm going to do," Morrison said.  

"The next term provides an opportunity for the industry to work with the government to deliver better results for households and businesses," Australian Energy Council CEO Sarah McNamara said. 

"We acknowledge and thank minister Angus Taylor for his work in the last term and we look forward to a continued relationship with the Morrison government for the benefit of all energy customers." 

Taylor has kept his seat of Hume in Victoria, but there have been questions as to whether he will retain his portfolio.  

Sarah Henderson, the Liberal who joined protests against Equinor's plans to drill a well in the Great Australian Bight, lost her ultra-marginal seat of Corangamite to Labor. 

Labor's ambitious emissions targets are no longer as the Coalition does not have a target.  

Whether the Liberals may the National Energy Guarantee is an open question.  

Labor's emissions target may have concerned business, but the loss of its policy to allow carbon credits offshore - so companies with emissions heavy projects in other nations can invest in cheaper projects there rather than Australia - may be a blow to some.  

Woodside Petroleum managing director Peter Coleman has suggested an Australia-only policy would be expensive as land could be scarce and compete with agricultural projects. 

With no emissions target in place from government businesses have been working to the Paris climate accord target of no more than 2C warming over pre-industrial levels.  

Labor's loss could also sink plans to spend $1.5 billion on a pipeline network to send gas from Queensland's Bowen and Galilee basins to market, and to develop the Beetaloo Basin in the Northern Territory, though resources minister Matt Canavan is especially gung ho on the development of Beetaloo.  

Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association CEO Andrew McConville has called for a climate policy now the election is over. 

 Source: Energy News Bulletin

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