Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has urged his successor Malcolm Turnbull to intervene and stop the closure of Victoria’s Hazelwood power station.
Mr Abbott – a staunch supporter of coal energy – wrote for News Corp that the last thing Australia should be doing is closing a utility that supports base load power.
“Keeping Hazelwood open would cap off a good week for the prime minister,” Mr Abbott wrotes in an opinion piece in Victoria’s Herald Sun on Friday.
Until cost effective and reliable alternative energy supplies such pumped hyrdo are assured, closing Hazelwood was an avoidable folly, Mr Abbott added.
“At least until Snowy 2.0 can produce 2000 megawatts of cost-effective and droughtproof hydro power, Hazelwood should stay open,” he wrote.
“That wouldn’t be bailing out a failing business. It would be securing the services that Australians need until market forces are once more driving the system.”
The Australian Industry Group agrees governments should remain open to keeping the station operating in some form.
“We appreciate that this would be a major and costly step,” chief executive Innes Willox said.
“We need urgent action, and all options should be on the table.”
Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison rubbished Mr Abbott’s calls on Sky News on Friday morning.
“There has never been a proposal for how that [the Federal government keeping Hazelwood open] might be achieved … the reason Hazelwood is closing is because of the mindless ideology of the Labor party,” he said.