Energy policy fail: Victorian Liberal Party is now powerless

Published 27-NOV-2018 10:45 A.M.

|

5 minute read

Hey! Looks like you have stumbled on the section of our website where we have archived articles from our old business model.

In 2019 the original founding team returned to run Next Investors, we changed our business model to only write about stocks we carefully research and are invested in for the long term.

The below articles were written under our previous business model. We have kept these articles online here for your reference.

Our new mission is to build a high performing ASX micro cap investment portfolio and share our research, analysis and investment strategy with our readers.


Click Here to View Latest Articles

The latest reminder of the public’s displeasure with the Coalition was delivered in a brutal loss at the Victorian state elections over the weekend.

By most readings of the situation, a clear message was being sent to the Libs — and not just at state level (despite the party’s Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, claiming over the weekend that Canberra was not to blame for the landslide defeat).

One of those messages was clearly about its energy policy.

Energy has been a controversial topic surrounding PM Scott Morrison’s leadership from the get-go, with the context for his rise to the most powerful position in Australia revolving around the failed National Energy Guarantee (NEG).

The NEG would have seen retailers sign contracts agreeing to supply a minimum amount of energy — as well as ensuring power sold had an average emissions level designed to meet the country’s carbon emissions reduction targets.

Turnbull’s failings around this policy led to the leadership spill itself, and this legacy has haunted Morrison ever since.

The Australian public has received constant reminders of that one time, when serving as Treasurer, that Morrison brought a lump of coal into parliament to show his dedication to the ailing coal mining industry.

In his short time as PM, Morrison has proposed policies that would extend the life of existing coal plants and provide government support for new investment in coal projects. And he has repeatedly faced questions about taking the country in a direction that would jeopardise its ability to meet the Paris Agreement commitments.

For these sorts of reasons, the government’s position on climate change and renewables has been heavily criticised not just by environmental groups but notably by businesses and investors operating within green and renewable energies.

And not just from outside the party, either.

Victorian Liberal senator, Jane Hume, wrote in Sunday's AFR about the Liberal Party needing to be less ideological on topics such as climate change and crime.

"If we allow good policy to be infiltrated by even the perception of an ideological crusade, Labor will win the messaging war,” Hume said, going on to add that energy policy that lowered prices was "imperative" however: "We underestimated our electorates; Victorians place a high value on their environment."

The party’s shock loss last month of the formerly blue-ribbon Liberal seat of Wentworth in Sydney was accompanied by a similar narrative, with two key reasons for the swing against the LNP cited as the detention of children on Nauru and the federal government's lack of meaningful action on climate change.

Yesterday, opposition leader, Bill Shorten offered a critique (albeit ineloquent) of what’s going on with the Coalition, summing up a few key issues the party may want to take on board: “We should resolve a national anti-corruption commission this week ... We should be in a position where we can resolve a national energy guarantee. But this government – I don’t know. Like, they’re so sort of obsessed by climate change, it’s vaguely weird they can’t actually accept the science.”

Many would agree. It is, to quote a nearly unquotable line, "vaguely weird" — especially considering the NLP is usually looking to please business, both big and small. And business, it would seem, is going green.

Westpac offers major investors a green scheme, while Andrews government confirms sustainability plans for VIC

Yesterday, Westpac launched the world’s first tailored ‘green’ deposit scheme for major investors looking to put their money in environmentally friendly projects. Westpac Institutional Bank chief executive, Lyn Cobley, said the new scheme was the direct result of investors asking for such products.

She told the AFR: "Every time I go to an investment conference, I've had investors vocally talk about where they can find an investment to put part of their money to use for sustainable purposes.”

Meanwhile, the evidently popular Andrews government has talked of future plans for Victoria now that it’s been re-elected, which includes putting the fracking ban — which already exists in legislation — into the Constitution to make it near impossible for future governments to roll it back.

Earlier in the month, the Premier also announced a new Victorian Renewable Energy Target of 50% by 2030.

When it comes to the issue of climate change and green energy, the contrast between what the Andrews government is offering in Victoria, and what the Coalition is saying at both a state and federal level, is stark. Even more stark is the contrast between the Liberals’ views on climate change and the majority of the rhetoric coming out of the business world — that green is the future and we don’t want to be left behind.

'Fair dinkum power' finds more favour

The last Green Keeper column mentioned Atlassian co-founder and co-CEO, Mike Cannon-Brookes, taking aim at the PM’s 'fair dinkum power' slogan.

As mentioned, Cannon-Brookes turned the ill-fated faux pas into an opportunity to spruik his own green energy message. At the time of that article, he had about 5,000 signatories for his brand new ‘fair dinkum power’ green energy pledge.

Now it has over 55,000 signatures. It seems the movement has also prompted the creation of a Senate inquiry, the ‘Select Committee into Fair Dinkum Power’.



General Information Only

S3 Consortium Pty Ltd (S3, ‘we’, ‘us’, ‘our’) (CAR No. 433913) is a corporate authorised representative of LeMessurier Securities Pty Ltd (AFSL No. 296877). The information contained in this article is general information and is for informational purposes only. Any advice is general advice only. Any advice contained in this article does not constitute personal advice and S3 has not taken into consideration your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Please seek your own independent professional advice before making any financial investment decision. Those persons acting upon information contained in this article do so entirely at their own risk.

Conflicts of Interest Notice

S3 and its associated entities may hold investments in companies featured in its articles, including through being paid in the securities of the companies we provide commentary on. We disclose the securities held in relation to a particular company that we provide commentary on. Refer to our Disclosure Policy for information on our self-imposed trading blackouts, hold conditions and de-risking (sell conditions) which seek to mitigate against any potential conflicts of interest.

Publication Notice and Disclaimer

The information contained in this article is current as at the publication date. At the time of publishing, the information contained in this article is based on sources which are available in the public domain that we consider to be reliable, and our own analysis of those sources. The views of the author may not reflect the views of the AFSL holder. Any decision by you to purchase securities in the companies featured in this article should be done so after you have sought your own independent professional advice regarding this information and made your own inquiries as to the validity of any information in this article.

Any forward-looking statements contained in this article are not guarantees or predictions of future performance, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are beyond our control, and which may cause actual results or performance of companies featured to differ materially from those expressed in the statements contained in this article. S3 cannot and does not give any assurance that the results or performance expressed or implied by any forward-looking statements contained in this article will actually occur and readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

This article may include references to our past investing performance. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of our future investing performance.

 

Discover Small Cap
Biotech Stocks

Join thousands of other Investors following our stock commentary for Free

X