Media Release

10 April 2018

The NSW Labor Opposition says the Liberal and Nationals are guilty of rank hypocrisy because of their push to decide the future of Liddell power station.

The power station was built and then owned by the NSW Government for decades before the NSW Liberals and Nationals privatised it in 2014 giving it to its current owner, AGL.

This was despite the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission trying the block the transaction because it was likely to lead to higher electricity prices.

Tony Abbott, as Prime Minister, supported the privatisation of Liddell and even recommended it to the world’s most powerful economic officials at the G20 finance ministers meeting.

Now that the new owners of Liddell want to transform the site into a renewables hub, the Liberals and Nationals want to pretend that Liddell was never sold and that they can decide what to do with it.

This bullying of a private company exposes the Liberals and Nationals hypocrisy – they want to leave everything to the private sector, until the very moment the private sector wants to invest in renewables.

AGL announced this plan after determining that extending the life of Liddell would come at significant cost and lead to more expensive energy for consumers.

Attempting to keep coal-fired power going at Liddell would fly in the face of transitioning to a reliable and sustainable energy future.

Quotes attributable to Labor Leader in the Legislative Council and Shadow Minister for Energy, Adam Searle MLC:

“The current Prime Minister is trying to engage in the kind of crony capitalism seen in modern-day Russia, by trying to force the sale of Liddell power station to an operator he approves of.

“This is completely hypocritical. His party in NSW literally gave the Liddell power station away to AGL and with it the right to decide how that asset is operated or used in the future.

“At the time, the Federal Coalition Government supported the privatisation of Liddell.

“Now that AGL wants to transition to cleaner energy generation, Mr Turnbull – in a desperate attempt to hold onto his job under pressure from the flat-Earth faction of his party – wants to keep coal-fired power going at Liddell, even though it will result in even more expensive electricity for households and businesses and cause more pollution.

“And where is the Berejiklian Government and its Energy Minister during this sorry episode? In hiding, with nothing sensible to say.

“In the energy space, everyone should be working towards electricity that is reliable, affordable and sustainable. Keeping Liddell’s coal-fired generators going beyond 2022 fails on each count.”