The four parties dominating NSW politics – Labor, Liberal, Nationals and the Greens – have the same policy on electricity prices and climate change. They want to go further down the expensive, unsustainable path of renewable energy. One Nation, by contrast, wants to diversify the State’s power industry, increasing supply and competition, thereby driving down prices.
Renewables cost more due to their intermittent nature. When the wind doesn’t blow (or blows too hard) there is no wind power. When the sun doesn’t shine, there is no solar power. Back-up energy is required, adding higher fixed costs into the system. Internationally, there is a clear correlation between higher electricity prices and reliance on renewables.
Countries overseas must be laughing at Australia. We are the world’s most resource-rich nation, yet we have some of the highest electricity prices in the world, a dead weight on economic growth. In NSW, nominal retail electricity prices have more than doubled over the past decade (with a 130 per cent increase in Sydney).
Households and businesses need immediate relief from record high electricity prices. Accordingly, if elected to the NSW Parliament on March 23, One Nation will seek to:
1. Abolish the NSW Climate Change Fund and its annual $300 million impost on the State’s households and businesses – an average consumer saving on electricity bills of approximately $85 per annum.
2. Conduct a thorough audit of the Climate Change Fund’s finances and reserves, returning any unspent monies to NSW households and businesses, with a further reduction in electricity bills.
3. Abolish the NSW Government commitment to the Paris Agreement and other emission and renewable energy targets.
Lower NSW Electricity Prices
One Nation will cut consumer and business costs by abolishing the NSW climate change tax on electricity.In 2007 the former Labor Government established a Climate Change Fund (CCF), collecting approximately $300 million per annum from electricity distributors. This cost is passed onto consumers, making the CCF the equivalent of a Green Tax on electricity.
The scheme has had a negligible impact on the State’s carbon emissions, with a reduction of less than one percent (as of 2013-14). This result was so embarrassing the Fund stopped reporting on its emission outcomes – a stunning admission of failure. What’s the point in having a Climate Change Fund that’s scared to tell the public its impact on climate change?
Yet the Berejiklian Government has kept this expensive, ineffective program in place, hitting the State’s 3.5 million households and businesses with higher electricity bills (approximately $85 per annum). It’s a dead weight on household budgets and NSW’s economic competitiveness.
The CCF has consistently under-spent the money raised, building up financial reserves. But not only doesn’t it report on emission outcomes, it fails to conduct and publicly report audited reviews of its finances. One Nation believes any Fund reserves should also be returned to electricity consumers in the form of lower prices (via a rebate scheme).
The NSW Green Tax works on the flawed principle of government taking money off people, pretending it can spend the money better than they ever could. If households and businesses want to invest in energy saving devices, governments should keep taxes and costs as low as possible and allow the public to use the money saved as it sees fit. There is no need for politicians and bureaucrats to make these decisions on behalf of consumers.
The CCF has specialised in wasteful spending, such as local government and university studies, re-education propaganda programs, sea-wall audits and even the development of shopping centre ‘tree canopies’. At a time when many households are struggling with their weekly budget, the best contribution the NSW Government can make is to abolish the CCF and give electricity consumers relief from record-high prices.
Ending the NSW Commitment to Paris and Other Green Energy Targets
The major parties in Australia have immersed themselves in a debate about carbon emission levels, with disastrous policy outcomes. Federal Coalition energy policy has been a confusing mess, while Labor’s 50 percent Renewable Energy Target would flatten the national economy.
In 2016, South Australia’s Labor Government showed how over-reliance on renewables not only drives up prices but leads to blackouts. With limited storage capacity, wind and solar power can never provide energy security for our economy. They can’t keep the lights on.
The Berejiklian Liberal-National Government has adopted a policy of creating “a net-zero emissions economy” in NSW – a setback for the State’s prosperity. Its Climate Change Policy Framework “endorses the Paris Agreement and will take action that is consistent with the level of effort (needed) to achieve Australia’s commitment to the Paris Agreement” – that is, a 26-28 percent emissions reduction (below 2005 levels) by 2030.
There is no need for NSW to commit to the Paris targets, given that the UN Climate Change Agreement is a sham. With the withdrawal of the United States, the only entities committed to significant emission reductions are Australia, Canada and the European Union. Big polluters such as China and India are scheduled to more than double their emissions from 2005 to 2030, often using coal imported from Australia.
These international agreements only work if every country is obliged to carry its weight. The Paris Accord is voluntary and unenforceable, with Australia being played as mugs. We’ve been lured into a bad treaty. One Nation will end the NSW Government’s commitment to Paris and other emission and renewable energy targets.