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Australian government's energy plan 'crazy' says former PM

Christian Fernsby ▼ | September 23, 2020
Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has described the government's plan for a gas-led economic recovery from coronavirus as "crazy".
Malcolm Turnbull
Former Prime Minister   Malcolm Turnbull
Turnbull, who led the governing coalition from 2015 to 2018, said recently that gas was an expensive fuel that should not be invested in.

Topics: Australia

"This is crazy stuff," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) television on Tuesday.

"To say that will lead your energy revolution and cheaper energy is a fantasy, and the reason it is a fantasy is because there is no cheap gas on the east coast. It costs too much to extract."

Angus Taylor, minister for energy and emissions reduction, on Tuesday launched the Technology Investment Roadmap, which will guide 18 billion Australian dollars (12.83 billion U.S. dollars) in government investment in low-emissions technologies over the next decade.

The roadmap identified hydrogen, carbon capture and storage (CCS), soil carbon, storage options and low-carbon steel and aluminium as priority technologies.

Gas, coal, wind and solar were deemed "mature technologies", meaning they are not the focus of the roadmap, but the government will continue to invest in "where there is a clear market failure."

Earlier in September, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced his plan for a gas-led recovery from Australia's coronavirus recession, committing to establishing a transparent and competitive Australian Gas Hub on the east coast.

"This is about making Australia's gas work for all Australians. Gas is a critical enabler of Australia's economy," Morrison said at the time.

But Turnbull accused the government of "misleading" Australians over gas, instead calling for a renewed focus on renewable sources of energy.