19 May 2021

The Morrison Government must urgently justify its spending on a new gas-fired power plant at Kurri Kurri – or admit that its decision is driven by ideology and politics, not energy needs.
Scott Morrison wants to spend $600 million of taxpayers’ money on a project his own experts don’t support.
The Government’s hand-picked Chair of the Energy Security Board says the Kurri Kurri project “doesn’t stack up, because it’s expensive power”.
The Australian Energy Market Operator says the new generation needed to replace Liddell is a fraction of the Government’s claims.
The Liddell Taskforce itself says existing generation projects are “more than sufficient” to meet those needs.
And even Kurri Kurri’s proponents admit that the Government’s $600 million plant would only be used 2 per cent of the time.
Other experts also oppose the project, with the Grattan Institute calling it a “bad deal”.
In light of this overwhelming advice, today’s announcement looks like a cynical attempt to pick a fight on gas and continue the climate wars, or to reward the major Liberal donor who owns the Kurri Kurri site.
Labor supports an ongoing role for gas in firming and peaking electricity supply.
But gas projects that stack up will be funded by the private sector, not taxpayers.
Just last week, Energy Australia committed to a new gas-hydrogen plant with just $5 million of Commonwealth support. If the Kurri Kurri proposal stacks up, why does it need 120 times more federal subsidy?
Scott Morrison and Angus Taylor must explain urgently.