Sunrise shuts down fiery debate on power prices: 'Blow it up'

·3-min read

Tanya Plibersek and Barnaby Joyce have gone head-to-head on breakfast television on Monday morning over the Labor government's promise to find a solution to soaring power prices.

Sunrise host Nat Barr was forced to cut away from the fiery debate. "A very passionate argument on both sides," she said before abruptly cutting the interview.

During a segment on the breakfast show, Ms Barr questioned Environment Minister Ms Plibersek on whether the federal government will see through their plans to have cheaper power by the new year. Ms Plibersek claimed the government is "working really hard" with gas companies and state and territory governments to bring down the price of energy, but said the long-term solution and immediate priority was to invest in renewable energy.

Barnaby Joyce and Tanya Plibersek go head-to-head on Sunrise.
Barnaby Joyce and Tanya Plibersek go head-to-head on Sunrise over power prices. Source: Sunrise

"We have really got to focus on gas in the short term but in the longer term we know the plan is, it's to get cheaper, cleaner, renewable energy into the grid," she said. The federal government has $20 billion set aside to upgrade transmission networks with a plan to have 82 per cent renewable energy "because know that is the cheapest form of electricity in human history," she added.

Nationals MP Mr Joyce slammed their plan as "ridiculous" and said Ms Plibersek was "wrong". He claimed it wasn't true that renewable energy is cheaper. "So many people have put solar panels on their roofs because they know that it's cheaper. It's cheaper, Barnaby, of course it is," she hit back.

"It’s ridiculous saying it. Look at your power bill, that is the reality of it," My Joyce erupted. "If you want power prices to go down, don’t listen to the Labor Party, look at your power bill — it’s going through the roof," he said. "This whole renewable issue, making out like power is going to be free, it’s never been dearer before in our lives."

Tanya Plibersek blames former government

Ms Plibersek blamed the former government for not taking action sooner. She also said the war in Ukraine is pushing up energy prices around the world. Ms Barr shut down such claims saying, "there comes a time when we can't just sit here and blame the government before".

While the Environment Minister agreed, Ms Plibersek took aim at the former deputy prime minister who she said was responsible for shutting down coal-powered power plants previously. "Coal-fired power plants shut under you.What did you do to stop it?" she asked. "If you think it's so good, what did you do to stop it?"

Mr Joyce hit out at Ms Plibersek about the upcoming closure of Liddell Power Station. "You're the government, Liddell is about to shut. AGL is going to 'blow it up'," he said. Mr Joyce finished his rant by saying Labor's energy power policy was "cuckoo land".

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