Despite being at the helm of Australia’s energy market for a decade, the former government says the current crisis is not their fault.
The former government minister responsible for energy and industry has stopped short of taking responsibility for the energy crisis threatening eastern Australia.
The east coast has dodged blackouts this weekend after a week in which the energy industry reached a tipping point, prompting the regulator to make the unprecedented decision to temporarily scrap the market to keep power in the system.
The crisis is the culmination of a global gas shortage, high coal prices and aging coal-fired power stations, as well as a slow transition to renewable energy.
Energy generators went on to be accused of “gaming the system”.
The Albanese government has spent much of the week pointing the finger at the former Morrison government.
But the former energy minister, Angus Taylor, says the former government has no need to take any responsibility, shifting the blame back on to Labor.
“There is no doubt there has been upward pressure on energy prices around the world, there’s no question about that – and that’s a big challenge,” Mr Taylor told Sky News on Sunday.
“The point I’m making is that there’s sensible actions that can be taken to alleviate those pressures.
Host Andrew Clennell interrupted, asking definitively: “Wait, do you take any responsibility?”
“We had managed this in the lead-up to the election successfully,” Mr Taylor responded.
“We had managed it successfully, we showed how you do that when you focus on supply and don’t demonize traditional sources of fuel … and we delivered the outcomes.”
Mr Taylor said he would have ensured there was more supply in the market, but stopped short of calling out the Labor government for backing in the Australian Energy Market Operator for “crushing the market”.
“If you focus on reliable supply, you don’t get yourself in this position,” Mr Taylor said.
Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke said Mr Taylor had given an “extraordinary interview”.
“There was no responsibility taken for anything,” Mr Burke told Sky News.
“And the big thing on how do they get supply going? His example was Kurri Kurri, which they announced, but has not been built.
“There is no sense of ownership (from the former government) of what we have in the energy market right now.
“Turning around 10 years of neglect takes time. There’s work involved with being able to do that.
“If Mr Taylor has plans to treat the Australian economy (as Shadow Treasurer) with the way he treated the national energy market, they’re not going to come up with very many good ideas.”
Originally published as Angus Taylor shirks responsibility on energy crisis despite decade of government