Mark Butler: Emissions reduction plan won’t help jobless right now


The Federal Government’s new energy plan will not create jobs fast enough to help Australia get out of its deep recession, Opposition energy spokesman Mark Butler warns.

The Government has announced it will funnel $18 billion over the next decade into four of its agencies to develop key technologies that will cut carbon emissions.

Energy Minister Angus Taylor will on Tuesday unveil a road map to guide government investment in energy technologies during a speech at the National Press Club.

It will prioritise projects that develop hydrogen, batteries, low carbon steel and aluminium, carbon capture and storage, and soil carbon.

In his speech, Mr Taylor is expected to say this investment will drive around “130,000 jobs to 2030”.

But Mr Butler told ABC RN that the road map was “useful” but won’t deliver the jobs in time.

“It’s hard to point to a single job that will be created as a result of these announcements in the time frame that we need,” he said.

“If we’re going to make a difference to households and businesses, you can’t just have a description of technology, you need investment rules that will see that technology built on the ground.

“We need that to bring down power prices, we need that to create jobs.”

Opposition energy spokesman Mark Butler says the technology investment road map is another plan to have a plan but no actual policy. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas
media_cameraOpposition energy spokesman Mark Butler says the technology investment road map is another plan to have a plan but no actual policy. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

Mr Butler questioned why nuclear power was included on a sublist but bioenergy was not.

He also welcomed the Government picking up some technologies that it has “shunned in the past” but said energy market investors needed to understand the rules before they committed for 20-30 years.

“If governments are going to chop and change the treatment of those investments they (investors) simply won’t put down the hundreds and hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars,” he said.

“We would put in place an energy policy that would unleash the investment in renewable energy that is ready to go.”

National Party Senator Matt Canavan told Sky News that technology was a good investment.

“Right now though, given the economic hole we are in, we need to be focusing on technologies that will work, not ones that just might work,” he said.

“Hydrogen, batteries, green steel are all great ideas but probably are decades away and are only maybes.

“It would be much better for us to prioritise technologies we know will work and create jobs today.”

Senator Canavan said this could include high efficiency low emission coal-fired power stations and fracking.

“Those technologies are proven ones that can help create jobs in this country,” he said.

Originally published as Energy plan won’t help jobless: Labor



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