Local News

Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce says Australia should build new (taxpayer funded) coal-fired power stations

…“so that poor people can turn on the lights like we do”.

By Lorna Gray
Deputy Prime Minister says he’s not opposed to the taxpayer subsiding the building of new coal-fired plants.
Joyce told the ABC in no uncertain terms he thinks coal-fired power is the way to go:
“I think we should be building new coal-fired power stations.”
He said that because Australia was the biggest exporter of coal, “it is morally prudent upon us to be at the forefront of the technology ... so that poor people can turn on the lights like we do”. Which was an interesting turn of phrase, to say the least.
“The best way to do that is build the plants and investigate ways of making them as efficient as possible and the more efficient we make it, the more carbon efficient we make it, now why wouldn’t we want to do that?”
His comments echo Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s at the National Press Club:
“Who has a bigger interest than us? We are the biggest [coal] exporter. And yet we don’t have one power station that meets those requirements,” Turnbull said.
After the PM’s speech, treasurer Scott Morrison also declined to rule out that the taxpayer will be subsiding the building of potential new coal-fired plants.
“If we are talking about next generation, new generation technologies that provide lower emissions energy production, whether it is coal or whether it is wind or whether it is any of the other sources, why would you limit yourself to a particular resource and that is the question the prime minister was putting today,” he told Sky News.
Energy prices are certainly a politically contentious issue, particularly in South Australia so it's no wonder Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg has insisted the federal government is looking at all options when it comes to securing affordable energy.