National News


Lower energy prices will drive regional job growth

The Nationals unashamedly advocate for Australia’s abundant natural resources and critical minerals sectors, and the regional communities and jobs that it supports. Nationals Senate Leader and Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie says opponents need to put aside the fearmongering and political point scoring and embrace a positive low emissions future. “The Nationals want to create jobs and opportunities for rural and regional Australians. Affordable, reliable power is key to that,” Senator McKenzie said. Our commitment is made clear in The Nationals’ Manufacturing 2035 plan: Australia needs to build modern coal-fired power stations to generate affordable, reliable energy. Nationals Deputy Leader in the Senate and Senator for Queensland Matt Canavan said The Nationals established the Underwriting New Generation Investments program to increase generation capacity and funded a feasibility study into a High-Efficiency, Low Emissions coal-fired power station in Collinsville. “A new HELE (high efficiency, low emission) coal-fired plant at Collinsville would create new regional jobs and a reliable source of low emission energy,” Senator Canavan said. “This is what Australia needs right now.” NSW Senator Perin Davey added: “Using our world’s-best and cleanest thermal coal to power Australian manufacturing makes sense and that coal comes from the Hunter.” Queensland Senator Susan McDonald said reliable, stable energy would underpin Australian manufacturing. “We need more of the dispatchable generation that coal, gas and hydro can provide if Australia is to continue having a vibrant manufacturing sector,” Senator McDonald said. The Nationals agreed with the ACCC recommendation that the Federal Government underwrite new energy generation projects that will help deliver affordable, reliable power for Australian consumers. “Fifteen years ago, Australia had some of the most affordable energy in the world, today we have some of the highest electricity prices for business,” Senator McKenzie said. “The Australian Energy Market Operator says Australia will need 6 to 19 GW of reliable power to back up renewables over the next 20 years.” Senator Sam McMahon, representing the Northern Territory, said it was time all sides of politics accepted coal and gas generation was part of Australia’s energy mix. “It is time Labor and the Greens get over their anti-regional ideology and blanket hatred of the natural resources and critical minerals sector and endorse The Nationals’ Manufacturing 2035 plan,” Senator McMahon said.