The Hon Angus Taylor MP Opinion piece

Australia’s shift towards renewable energy is something to be proud of. Last year alone, a record 7,000 megawatts of new renewable capacity was added to our electricity grid, confirming Australia’s standing as a world leader in solar and wind energy generation.

As a proud and successful trading nation, Australia is a strong supporter of open markets free of the barriers that impede markets for our exporters and drive up prices for Australian consumers. 

Australia’s competitive advantage has always been based on affordable, reliable energy. As we turn to our economic recovery from COVID-19, affordable gas will play a central role in re-establishing the strong economy we need for jobs growth, funding government services and opportunities for all. 

In life, business and politics there are few opportunities that tick most of the boxes. Increasing the use of gas in Australian east coast electricity generation and industry, balanced with other energy sources, is one of those opportunities.

This pandemic has had a profound impact on global oil markets.

This week the government is reintro­ducing electricity competition reforms to the parliament, widely known as the "big stick" legislation.

Consumer trust is more important than worries about industry intervention. But the need for drastic policy is only temporary.

As the reappointed Energy Minister, and now Minister responsible for Emissions Reduction, I am focussed on tangible solutions for our energy sector.

On 25 January, as the lights went out in 200,000 Victorian homes and the Portland aluminium smelter was taken offline, it was little comfort that there was an additional 400 megawatts of generation capacity in Tasmania unable to reach the mainland and keep the lights on.

In the Australian electricity sector, the facts and the customers have been victims.