New push for energy policy agreement from all sides of politics

New push for energy policy agreement from all sides of politics
Liberal MP Julie Bishop. Photo by Antonio Cruz via Wikimedia Commons

There is a renewed push in Canberra by MPs from all sides of the political spectrum for the Government to come to a bipartisan agreement on energy policy.

Crossbenchers have demanded action on the energy issue since the Government scrapped its signature energy policy known as the National Energy Guarantee (NEG).

The NEG was abandoned by the Liberal party shortly before the ousting of Malcolm Turnbull in a leadership spill.

The former deputy leader of the Liberal party, Julie Bishop, recently announced that she was interested in her party bringing back the NEG.

Ms Bishop’s call was supported by Centre Alliance MP Rebekha Sharkie who said that the Government needs to find a bipartisan agreement with the Labor party. Without a roundly supported policy there are fears that investment in Australia’s energy sector will drop.

She said that Canberra was “in a paralysing policy vacuum” and that the Government’s abandoning of the NEG was “nonsensical”.

She went on to say that even though the agreement “was a compromise”, she and many MPs “were prepared to support it”.

In her maiden speech to parliament after winning the Wentworth by-election, independent MP Kerryn Phelps said that Australia was failing to respond to climate change and was running short of excuses for it.

Despite the NEG compromising on a lot of climate change goals, she said that it was “better than the policy vacuum of the current Government”.

Since Labor recently adopted a similar policy as part of their platform, it appears there is room for a bipartisan deal to be struck. However, some like Greens MP Adam Bandt believe that the Labor party should wait unit it (presumably) wins the next election so it can pursuer “an ambitious climate policy”.

Mr Bandt said that a bipartisan deal with the Liberal party was “likely to lock in coal and make life harder for renewables”.