Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten with Year 3 student Charlotte Peterson at Marsden State School, south of Brisbane, yesterday. Picture: Dan Peled/AAP
Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten with Year 3 student Charlotte Peterson at Marsden State School, south of Brisbane, yesterday. Picture: Dan Peled/AAP

Shorten admits coal hard reality

OPPOSITION Leader Bill Shorten has backed coal exports and power stations, softening Labor's stance, while urging people to stop "dumbing down" the energy debate to black and white.

In some of his strongest language in the debate so far, Mr Shorten said that when in government he wanted to see more rooftop solar and batteries in people's homes, but backed continuing the use and export of coal.

"I want to force energy prices down," he said.

"The only way to do that is stopping this dumbed-down debate.

"Are you for coal or against coal? Do you have coal tattooed on you or do you have 'stop Adani' tattooed on you?

"I'm pro-renewables, but yes, coal will be part of our energy and export mix going forward.

"I want to see households have more solar rooftops. I want to see more batteries in households and more batteries in business."

Earlier this month, Opposition climate change spokesman Pat Conroy spoke about replacing thermal coal exports with renewable energy exports.

 

Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten with Year 3 student Charlotte Peterson at Marsden State School, south of Brisbane, yesterday. Picture: Dan Peled/AAP
Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten with Year 3 student Charlotte Peterson at Marsden State School, south of Brisbane, yesterday. Picture: Dan Peled/AAP

 

But yesterday, Opposition energy spokesman Mark Butler, who has been one of the most vocal Labor members opposed to the controversial Adani mega coalmine, said in an interview he accepted Australia would continue exporting coal, given the global demand.

"That's the way in which the market works, and I think that's already a reality in the global thermal coal market," he said.

The Federal Government is developing a new energy policy after it scrapped its National Energy Guarantee.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said renewable energy had advanced to the point that it no longer needed large government subsidies.

He said this was how the government would meet its carbon emission reduction targets.

"When you look out over the next decade and you see the investment that is coming in renewables… then that's how you start to meet these arrangements," Mr Morrison said.



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