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Australia Energy reform edges closer to reality

07:06  10 august  2018
07:06  10 august  2018 Source:   9news.com.au

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Energy Minister, Josh Frydenberg, said it was a “very constructive dinner”, as he warned of blackouts, and spiraling power bills if there’s no agreement. Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg is confident his state and territory counterparts are warming to a national plan for power supply and climate policy.

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Josh Frydenberg wearing a suit and tie: Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg is confident his state and territory counterparts are warming to a national plan for power supply and climate policy. Picture: AAP© Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg is confident his state and territory counterparts are warming to a national plan for power supply and climate policy. Picture: AAP

The Federal Government will try to end a decade of policy paralysis and political posturing, as it attempts to thrash out agreement with the states for its energy policy at a meeting in Sydney today.

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And, after the ministers met over a late night dinner, there appeared to be some optimism that a deal could be struck.

Energy Minister, Josh Frydenberg, said it was a “very constructive dinner”, as he warned of blackouts, and spiralling power bills if there’s no agreement.

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"No-one wants to re-litigate the mistakes of the past,” Mr Frydenberg told 9NEWS.

“Hopefully we can take it to the next stage.”

Later in the morning, in a last-minute plea for support, a stern-faced Mr Frydenberg told ministers they had a “collective responsibility” to deliver cheaper, reliable, cleaner power for families and businesses.

“Australian eyes are on this room today,” he said.

“And what happens here matters to the outcomes around every Australian kitchen table and every Australian factory floor.

“The experts have spoken, and they have provided us with a blueprint for reform, and a ticket to lower power prices with the National Energy Guarantee.

“Business, industry, and consumer groups have spoken. Because they are universally in support

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READ MORE: Energy reform edges closer to reality . If approved, the exposure draft of the legislation would be released for further consultation. Labor states, particularly Victoria, still have major concerns, but admit today's outcome was "progress".

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“So today, it’s up to us.”

Senior Minister, Christopher Pyne, told the Today Show, he thinks there’ll be an “in principle agreement”.

“I think we’ll get the support next week of the (coalition) party room,” Mr Pyne said.

“Then a final tick off from the premiers and I think we will achieve a great outcome.”

a windmill on top of a grass covered field: The federal government says the energy plan could save families $550 a year.© Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd The federal government says the energy plan could save families $550 a year. Labor states, particularly Victoria, want a higher emissions target. Members also want future targets to be set earlier and made easier by negotiation, not legislation.

They are also reluctant to sign up to a deal that could be changed again by conservative MPs at the party meeting who want less reliance on renewables, and a greater role for coal.

Mr Pyne said while the government’s always willing to negotiate, it wouldn’t “just hand the policy over to the Greens”.

“There is some baseline,” he said.

“We want it to be responsible. We want affordable, reliable power. We want it to be responsible.

“But I think we will get there. That’s what voters want. They actually want governments to work together to achieve outcomes.”

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