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PM backs gas-powered economic recovery

  • September 16 2020
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Invest

PM backs gas-powered economic recovery

By Cameron Micallef
September 16 2020

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has outlined his vision for a gas-led economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, declaring the cheap and reliable power will help boost the economy.

PM backs gas-powered economic recovery

PM backs gas-powered economic recovery

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  • September 16 2020
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Prime Minister Scott Morrison has outlined his vision for a gas-led economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, declaring the cheap and reliable power will help boost the economy.

PM backs gas-powered economic recovery

During the national energy address on Tuesday, 15 September, the PM highlighted the importance of gas as a pillar of his JobMaker plan, with affordable electricity taking the burden off families and businesses.

The Prime Minister said gas and coal remained critical to meeting the nation’s growing energy demands and supporting the economic recovery through job creation.

“Now lower cost and more reliable energy helps businesses to grow and employ more people. And in areas like the Hunter, the business of generating energy is, for so many, your livelihood, where critical energy-intensive jobs are located,” Mr Morrison said.

“Affordable and more reliable energy also supports household budgets, and that enables Australians to keep more of what they earn, whatever their source of income is.”

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As part of this plan, Mr Morrison explained how with or without private investment, the Australian government would look to increase the supply of gas.

“To ensure affordable reliable power, we need the market to deliver 1,000 megawatts of new dispatchable capacity by the summer of 2023-2024, with final investment decisions by the end of April 2021,” Mr Morrison said.

“If the energy companies choose to step up and make these investments to create that capacity, great, we will step back. If not, my government will step up and we will fill the gap.

“To this end, the Snowy Hydro is already developing options to build a gas generator in the Hunter Valley should the market not deliver.”

Mr Morrison also pointed to cheaper energy sources, including coal, as a cheap energy supply while creating Australian jobs.

“Coal will continue to play an important role in our economy for decades to come. With new technologies such as carbon capture and storage continuing to improve, it will have an even longer life, not just here in Australia, but in our export markets as well. Right here, and in regions like right here, that means jobs.”

“My government understands this. The fact that we understand it is important. So many of your livelihoods depend on it. And not everyone shares this view. Not everyone shares our views on this,” Mr Morrison said.

Critics have hit back at Mr Morrison’s plans, with Greens leader Adam Bandt telling Australians, “We must fight Scott Morrison’s gas-fuelled climate collapse,” he said on Twitter. 

“But by all means, back a gas-fuelled recovery and ditch 2030 climate targets, Lib & Lab,” Mr Bandt said.

However, Mr Morrison addressed these concerns in his speech, highlighting the change towards renewable generation. 

“This is not something we have sought to hold back, rather we have encouraged it. And it is also benefiting jobs here in the Hunter and in regions like it. It is not a choice between the two,” Mr Morrison said.

“More than $30 billion was invested in renewables between 2017 and mid 2020. In 2019, we saw investment at more than three times the per capita rate of countries like Germany, China or France.

“Across 2019 and 2020, Australia will add more than 12.6 GW of renewable capacity – over four times that of our largest power station. Nearly one in four households has rooftop solar systems,” the Prime Minister concluded.

PM backs gas-powered economic recovery
PM backs gas-powered economic recovery
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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