2 THE POINT
WEDNESDAY, 9 AUGUST 2017
PETER VAN ONSELEN: We’ve got in the studio Mark Butler who I’ve never interviewed face to face before because you’ve never bothered to come to Sydney for Sunday Agenda.
MARK BUTLER MP, SHADOW MINISTER FOR CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY, MEMBER FOR PORT ADELAIDE: It’s a long way from Adelaide.
KRISTINA KENEALLY: Adelaide is a long way from anywhere.
BUTLER: It’s all a question of perspective.
KENEALLY: It is indeed.
VAN ONSELEN: Josh Frydenberg crashed the studio earlier today.
BUTLER: You no longer need to be invited here apparently. Adelaide people don’t do that, we like to be invited.
VAN ONSELEN: You’re more dignified. But what do you think about their idea that they are going to try and strong arm power companies on power prices. They are going to report back in a week or so. Your view?
BUTLER: Well if some change comes from this and delivers a better deal for Australian households and businesses we will support it. We’ve been saying for some time now that the energy market is not operating in the interest of consumers. We took a very detailed policy to last year’s election. It is operating in the interest of the big power companies. Many of which, are operating businesses that were privatised by Liberal Governments. This is overdue, if it delivers change that will provide some relief from households, that is all well and god.
VAN ONSELEN: Do you think it will?
BUTLER: Well the proof in the pudding will be when households come to open their power bills in the coming weeks and months and see whether they are coming down or whether they are continuing to go up, and up, and up. What it doesn’t do is reduce the urgency of dealing with the Finkel recommendations, which is a clean energy target. The absence of which is the key driver of energy prices going up in Australia. Everyone agrees with that and Malcolm Turnbull is just going to have to deliver it sooner rather than later.
KENEALLY: Mark Butler, unfortunately we are out of time.
VAN ONSELEN: You avoided Tim Wilson’s record for the shortest interview.
BUTLER: (laughing) Good to be here.