The return of the Morrison Government following the 2019 Australian Federal election on 18 May and a “changing of the guard” within the Liberal Party has provided a long awaited reset for the Liberal National Coalition.
A now likely majority for the Coalition in the House of Representatives and a smaller cross bench in the Senate augur well for stable government. This is important at a time when the economy may experience some headwinds and there is an increasingly unstable international environment.
During the election campaign the Labor opposition’s energy policies, including a 45% greenhouse gas emissions reduction target and a proposal to support the uptake of electric vehicles, captured the media’s attention.
The Morrison Government’s more conservative and practical energy policy platform includes a mix of existing and new initiatives targeted at addressing energy affordability, reducing emissions and increasing security of energy supply.
- $2.0 billion for the Climate Solutions Fund which provides funding for emissions abatement across a range of industry sectors
- $1.38 billion for Snowy 2.0
- $61 million for energy efficiency initiatives for small businesses, community groups, households and building owners
- $56 million to fast track Marinus Link a new electricity interconnector from Tasmania to Victoria to support Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation project
- $3 million to establish a Priority Transmission Taskforce to speed up delivery of transmission projects identified in the AEMO’s 20-year Integrated System Plan
- $50 million to support feasibility studies for remote and regional micro-grids
- $13 million to support the Underwriting New Generation Investments program to increase reliable electricity supply and improve wholesale market and support a roadmap for generation opportunities in North and Central Queensland
- $365 million for Energy Assistance Payments to 4 million eligible social security payment recipients
- $8 million to accelerate the development of the Beetaloo gas basin
- The Retailer Reliability Obligation requiring energy companies to sign contracts guaranteeing enough energy to meet demand, and underwriting investment in new reliable power generation.
Within the Morrison Government the big winners in addition to Prime Minister Scott Morrison are Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Resources Minister Matt Canavan.
Josh Frydenberg’s first Federal budget was instrumental in making the case for the return of the Morrison Government. Matt Canavan ran a strong on the ground campaign in regional Queensland to shore up support there amongst voters. Josh Frydenberg (Liberal Party) and Matt Canavan (National Party) are seen as future leaders of their respective parties.