Interview with Chris Kenny, Sky News

Transcripts Transcripts




Wednesday, 07September 2022

Topics: Power prices, nuclear energy, SMR’s

Chris Kenny: Ted O’Brien who’s the shadow climate change and energy minister, he joins us from Canberra to today again, Ted we hear from Anthony Albanese that he sticks to his modeling he doesn’t want to say $275 anymore and and Chris Bowen spruiking the wonderful tax advantages tax breaks that are gonna be given to electric vehicles. I’m not even picking up the newspapers or flipping on the Sky News to have a look at what’s happening in Europe but what’s happening in California and what’s happening in the UK.

Ted O’Brien: Clearly, they’re not Chris, I tell you what they’re certainly not doing is they’re not going on the shop floor. They’re not visiting businesses, especially energy intensive manufacturers who are in a world of pain because of energy prices. They don’t going the lounge rooms of families who are struggling because they’re opening up their energy bill, and they know that they have to make some serious choices about their day to day life if they have to pay it. I think it’s extraordinary to think that over 90 times, labor made very clear to the Australian public they would reduce energy prices $275 off the household energy bill. Now they won’t government and we cannot get the Prime Minister even utter the words 275 in the parliament, no matter how many times we ask the question, and I think this is what is really going to be deflating Australians who really count those who are not heard and are often forgotten.

Chris Kenny: This brings up the issue of nuclear you’ve agreed to have a look at it on this program. I’ve been pointing out for months how Japan’s going back to nuclear how even France is expanding nuclear how Germany is going back to nuclear how China of course is expanding nuclear Boris Johnson lamenting the wasted time with nuclear development in the in the UK. Yet in parliament yesterday. Have a look at the way Anthony Albanese mocks nuclear energy and the way you’ve been advocating.

*Plays Grab from Parliament.

Ted O’Brien: Well, the wise cracks can just keep on coming Chris. In truth we want a serious conversation about the possibility of nuclear energy in Australia. You know, the prime minister can, you know showcase a fair bit of hubris on this. He is the new prime minister. But he’s also therefore the number one person in the country who has to deal with our allies. The United States are ramping up on nuclear. Is the Prime Minister going to say that to the President? France has 70% Nuclear will he be saying that to President Emmanuel Macron to the new UK Prime Minister will promise it Albanese be saying to her, what is your country aiming for 25% Nuclear by 2050. Most of our allies indeed all of the G 20 have legal permission to consider nuclear Australia does not the prime minister in the midst of an energy crisis is mocking the possibility of us looking at a form of technology that produces 10% of energy across the world today. That is irresponsible. And no matter how many giggles he might get from his own backbench it does not fool Australian families or Australian businesses.

Chris Kenny: Well the point is you won’t get to net zero you won’t get anywhere near and anywhere in the world without without nuclear energy as you say, all the developed countries in the world are looking at this. I think the debate has completely shifted because he’s going back to the old scare campaigns where you’re going to put a reactor but people people can see what’s going on in the world. People know they want emissions free electricity that’s reliable and affordable. Your challenge surely has to move more quickly on this rather than having more studies and whatever. Shouldn’t the coalition be putting up legislation straightaway to get rid of the legislative bans on nuclear energy for a start?

Ted O’Brien: Well, more than anything, Chris, we’ve got to get it right. We’ve got to get it right. Especially when you do have people as important as the prime minister who is still arguing the case as if he was back at university with the mullet saying no, no to nuclear. We are not talking about Soviet era nuclear energy. We are talking about new and emerging technologies. We are talking about small modular reactors, the safest form of energy production in the world, bar none. I think we still have a lot of work to do to engage the Australian public. And first and foremost, we need to have a national conversation. We need to be very open, allow people to speak and that’s why Chris I’m also very grateful to you for the leadership you’ve shown in this debate to keep talking about it. Because unless we have a conversation with the public, we won’t be able to build the social licence necessary for this country to seriously consider the possibility

Chris Kenny: The more you know about this, the more information you share, the more open you are to the potential here. Thanks for joining us tonight appreciate it.

Ted O’Brien: Absolute pleasure. Thank you. Chris.

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