Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has stared down an energy revolt by the states.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has stared down an energy revolt by the states.

Malcolm Turnbull’s warning to Queensland

MALCOLM Turnbull has threatened state governments they will be blamed for high power bills if they veto his national energy plan.

In a warning to Queensland, which is considering teaming up with Victoria and the ACT to scuttle the National Energy Guarantee, Mr Turnbull said they would have to explain to consumers why their electricity bills are so high.

The Prime Minister shot down a list of last-minute demands from Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, whose government called for emissions reduction targets to be set by regulation, be reviewed every three years and always increase.

"Daniel Andrews has got to decide whether he wants Victorians to pay more for electricity, or less," Mr Turnbull said.

"The National Energy Guarantee will deliver cheaper electricity, $550 a year less."

Queensland has also cast doubt on whether it will support the NEG at a summit tomorrow but the state has stopped short of supporting Victoria's demands.

Mr Turnbull said the Victorian Premier had caved in to the Greens after environmental groups threatened to campaign against the state government ahead of a November election.

Greenpeace welcomed Victoria's demands but said the main problem with the NEG was it would not reduce carbon emissions.

"The NEG as it is, simply won't cut coal pollution, and it won't cut power prices," Greenpeace spokesman Alix Foster Vander Elst said.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has stared down an energy revolt by the states.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has stared down an energy revolt by the states.

Liberal premiers rallied to support the Federal Government's plan and urge their Labor counterparts to back it.

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall, whose state has suffered blackouts in the past, said all states would suffer if the deal was rejected.

"Let's not delay, the sooner we get a national approach, the sooner we can secure up our grid, the sooner prices can come down and surely that is the number one case," he said.

"The alternative? Everybody going in their different directions. Delaying decisions is not good for our nation."

But Mr Turnbull continues to face opposition from some of his own backbenchers despite pledging to underwrite new baseload power on top of the NEG.

One of the outspoken Liberal critics, Craig Kelly, said he still had numerous concerns about the NEG and wanted more detail before committing to it.

In a bid to win over critics including Tony Abbott who want support for new coal-fired power stations, Mr Turnbull said the ACCC's recommendation for government support for dispatchable power was " a very good suggestion and I have no doubt we will adopt that".

The recommendation has been used by coal advocates in the Government to back their case for Government support for new power stations.

The PM did not commit to supporting coal-fired power, saying: "It could be hydro, it could be gas, it could be … renewables backed by hydro or gas or batteries, it could be gas alone, it could be coal."

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