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Energising the Liberals

By Brian Wawn - posted Monday, 13 November 2023

The Liberal Party's energy policies lack clarity, making them ill-suited to take to the next federal election (due by mid-2025).

Liberal Leader, Peter Dutton, has done well in opening public discussion on nuclear power – a discussion the government would like to suppress…

But the Liberal Party's approach to both coal and renewables is confused.


Liberal leaders barely discuss the future of coal, as if nuclear power is all set to replace it tomorrow.

On renewables, Mr Dutton appears hesitant, saying in July that Labor's 'renewable zealotry is putting our nation at risk', adding that Labor proposes 'carpeting our landscape with 28,000 kilometres of new transmission poles and wires'.

At the same time, both he and Ted O'Brien, Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy, appear to see a long-term future for renewables, saying that nuclear power and renewables complement each other.

Mr Dutton also sees a future for Net Zero greenhouse emissions by 2050, based on nuclear power (which is emissions-free), with natural gas as the transition fuel along this road.

But even if achievable in the electricity sector, does he really believe Net Zero emissions can be achieved in transport, agriculture, mining, and manufacturing which requires that we get rid of petrol, diesel, jet fuel, natural gas, and burping cows?

And do the Liberals believe that 'climate science is settled', using the words of Chris Bowen, Labor's lead person in this area?


There is a new approach for the Liberal Party that aims to overcome its current lack of clarity…

It would firstpromote coal and nuclear power as the way forward for electricity generation in Australia.

Coal is the lowest-cost form of baseload (that is, continuous) electricity for over 80 per cent of Australians.

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This article was first published by The Spectator.

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About the Author

Brian Wawn is the executive director of Energy Bureau, which is a non-profit organisation committed to stimulating discussion of climate change and related energy issues. He has been a publisher of various industry-specific publications and between 1970 and 1984 was an Australian diplomat.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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