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Byron Shire
May 6, 2021

Key Liberal seats back clean energy target

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The PM continues to spruik fossil fuel over renewables despite the writing being well and truly on the wall for the coal industry.

A majority of Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott’s constituents support a 50 per cent renewable energy target and don’t believe the federal government’s new energy policy will lower their power bills.

Polling conducted by ReachTEL for left-leaning think tank The Australia Institute also found a majority of voters surveyed in Mr Turnbull’s electorate of Wentworth and Mr Abbott’s Warringah, as well as Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg’s Kooyong, supported pricing carbon.

About 60 per cent of respondents in Wentworth and Kooyong said they would be more likely to support the government’s new national energy guarantee if it ensured Australia would have at least 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030.

The figure was slightly lower in Mr Abbott’s electorate on Sydney’s northern beaches, but almost two thirds of people quizzed in Warringah don’t believe power prices will fall under the new plan.

The federal government is confident economic modelling will back up its claim households will save up to $115 a year on their bills.

A majority of voters in Mr Turnbull and Mr Frydenberg’s electorate also don’t think power prices will decrease as a result of the government’s new energy policy, which is again set to dominate debate in Canberra this week.

Under the government’s new energy policy, Mr Turnbull ditched Chief Scientist Alan Finkel’s proposal to have a clean energy target.

Instead, energy retailers would need to meet guarantees on reliability and emissions but how they do it would be up to them.

Labor remain committed to a 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030.

The new polling comes after Mr Abbott ramped up his climate change rhetoric and advocated for subsidies for coal-fired power.

Mr Frydenberg said the government’s new policy had “nothing to do with Tony Abbott”.

“It’s got all to do with securing the stability of the system,” Mr Frydenberg told ABC TV.

Australia Institute executive director Ben Oquist said the polling showed voters backed a more ambitious program of emissions reduction.
”In three key Liberal-held seats, these results are overwhelming evidence the community wants to get on with the transition from coal to renewables,” Mr Oquist said.

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