Don't play politics on energy, states told

Karen Sweeney and Matt Coughlan
Business Council of Australia CEO Jennifer Westacott backs the federal government's energy policy

Malcolm Turnbull has declared the government's signature energy policy will survive a backbench revolt, as state premiers make its passage through the coalition party room a defining issue.

The prime minister challenged state and territory leaders to support the National Energy Guarantee ahead of Friday's Council of Australian Governments Energy Council meeting in Sydney.

"The pressure is on the state premiers and Bill Shorten, leader of the Labor Party. Does he want Australians to pay less for electricity or more?" Mr Turnbull told the ABC on Monday.

It comes after Labor leaders in Queensland and Victoria said they would only support the NEG if got the seal of approval from the federal coalition party room.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk supports a national energy framework, but wants to see it backed by the coalition before signing off on the agreement.

Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas has demanded minimum standards including guaranteed preservation of individual state renewable energy targets.

Rogue MPs including former prime minister Tony Abbott have cast doubt over the policy, with many arguing for new investment in coal-fired power generation.

But Mr Turnbull dismissed suggestions the NEG would be blocked by his coalition colleagues.

"It's been endorsed by the party room already and will be endorsed again," he said.

"It's got overwhelming support because ... the government I lead wants Australians to pay less for electricity."

After Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg meets with his state and territory counterparts, the policy will be taken to a coalition party room meeting next Tuesday.

States and territories will get final sign-off in a phone hook-up after that meeting.

Mr Frydenberg maintains despite the "usual voices" there's strong support for the key components of the guarantee.

Federal Labor's energy spokesman Mark Butler said the prime minister had consistently failed to get full party room support for policy reforms.

"It's quite clear that the biggest barrier to cheaper power bills for Australian households is Malcolm Turnbull's inability to land support for sensible, 21st century policy reform in his own party room," he told reporters in Adelaide.

But Mr Frydenberg has warned those who oppose the policy will condemn families and businesses to higher power prices than they would have otherwise paid.

That sentiment has been echoed by a powerful alliance of employer, industry and farming groups who have come together to urge states and territories to back the deal.

Business Council chief Jennifer Westacott said disagreements about emissions reduction ambitions were not an excuse to block the plan.