National

Labor wants more investment in energy plan

By AAP Newswire

Labor says it will not support Malcolm Turnbull's landmark national energy plan in parliament unless the policy includes stronger measures for investment.

After getting the nod from states and territories to continue negotiations on the National Energy Guarantee, the prime minister will seek to steer the policy through a partyroom meeting on Tuesday.

"The fundamental flaw in Malcolm Turnbull's energy plan is that it will pull through absolutely no investment at all," Mr Butler told reporters on Saturday.

"We're not going to support an investment setting that will see not a single new energy project built in this country for an entire decade."

That included a halving in the installation rate of rooftop solar panels.

Mr Butler said investing in renewable energy was the surest way to bring down household power bills.

But the biggest barrier to lower power bills for Australians was the division within the coalition partyroom, Mr Butler claimed.

He singled out former prime minister Tony Abbott and former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce as two coalition MPs who had concerns.

"These are not two obscure, junior backbenchers," Mr Butler said.

"Prime Minister Turnbull on his third attempt to put together an energy policy in three years can't even marshal his own numbers."

But Australian businesses are fed up with the impasse.

Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive James Pearson said Labor needed to back the NEG because it was in the national interest.

"The NEG is flexible, that's one of its great attractions," Mr Pearson told AAP.

"It provides space for renewable investment as well as in gas and recognises coal is likely to continue as a key source of power generation for quite some time to come."

State and territory energy ministers agreed in talks on Sydney on Friday they'd support public consultation of legislation to implement the policy if it can get the support of government members.

Meanwhile the government is fighting battles on another front with the Victorian, Queensland and ACT governments.

Mr Frydenberg has indicated a willingness to consider Victoria's demand for three-yearly reviews of the target rather than the current five year review process.

But he's flatly refusing their call for targets to be set by regulation rather than legislation, calling the demand hypocritical given Victoria's own targets are legislated.