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Don’t Mention the NEG!

Remember the NEG, the National Energy Guarantee ?

Introduced by Malcolm Turnbull in 2017. The idea of the NEG was to establish a national energy policy to tackle rising energy prices in Australia and to introduce a bipartisan national policy on power and energy. It was also designed to give confidence and clarity for energy producers to invest in energy infrastructure into the future.

The overriding commitment of the NEG was to combine emissions reductions with stability and continuity of energy supply at stable prices as we transition away from fossil fuels.

Malcolm Turnbull was tossed out of office in August 2018 and his successor, Scott Morrison announced in September 2018 that the government would henceforth focus on cheap electricity prices and Australia would scrap the NEG and all would be well – and some of us fell for it : whatever the case it was off the table.

The important components to the new Morrison plan were not to mention the NEG ever again and certainly not to mention Malcolm Turnbull – in fact, they talked about throwing him out of the Liberal Party.

So, in effect nothing was done beyond burying data on energy shortages and ignoring warnings of price spikes coming.

Interestingly, WA introduced gas reservation as a policy in that state : if you were a gas producer you had to reserve fifteen percent of production for domestic consumption in Western Australia. The ACT introduced renewable energy targets and obligations which have shielded them from the current price fluctuations in domestic gas (and coal) markets.

Beyond that nothing was done other than, in the last few days, when the coalition now in opposition decided that what was happening was all Labor’s fault and if you believe them, the energy market has crashed in the last ten days due to the election of a Labor government.

At the time this bipartisan policy was dumped it is worth noting that Centre Alliance MP Rebekha Sharkie urged the Morrison Government to find an agreement with Labor, saying the industry needed a bipartisan policy for investment certainty.

“We are in a paralysing policy vacuum and the dumping by the Government of their own policy [the NEG] was nonsensical. The NEG was a compromise, but we were prepared to support it,” she said.

This fell on deaf ears as the coalition under Morrison by this time had moved on to more important things like, religious discrimination laws.

Labor have said that they will revive the NEG.


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  1. Albos Elbow

    The best solution is to transition to Renewable Energy ASAP and cut billions of dollars worth of fossil fuel subsidies.

    Since 2020, the ACT is on 100% renewable energy.
    While the rest of Australia is looking foward to a substantial retail electricity price hike on July 1, in the ACT electricity prices are coming down.

    A few months ago, the Ex-Minister for Burning Fossil Fuels signed off on higher subsidies for gas and coal fired power stations to combat higher coal, oil and petroleum gas prices and help them compete with renewable energy.
    In other words, the retail electricity charges were artificially inflated by the Morrison Governmnet to protect fossil fuel companies and are not based on the energy market.

    Australian taxpayers will now be expected to pay for the growing fossil fuel energy subsidies via increased retail energy prices from July 1.

    Seriously, now is the time to buy wholesale renewable energy and bypass the fossil fuel energy retail price rorts.
    Wholesale renewable energy is much cheaper, its produced from free and abundant Australian sunshine, wind and water and is not impacted by global crisis and international turmoil causing higher fossil fuel prices.

    Through local community based power suppliers like Localvolts, you can buy wholesale renewable energy electricity direct from the suppliers, saving your family hundreds of dollars a year.

    For more information please visit the website or contact or and get started on saving hundreds of dollars on your energy bills, reducing your carbon emissions and helping us all move to net zero sooner.

  2. Albos Elbow

    Tasmania also moved to 100% renewable energy in 2020.

    If you take a look at this graph, in the past 3 years their wholesale energy costs have gone down from 8.8c per KWh to now around 4.1c per KWh and continue to fall.

    Imagine being able to buy electricity for 4.1c a KWh. How much money would that save you every year?

    The best solution is to transition to Renewable Energy ASAP and stop paying billions of dollars worth of fossil fuel subsidies to fossil fool billionaires, who don’t need the money.

  3. paul walter

    No doubt about Terence Mills…nail right on the head.

    Too astonished to add more just now, given a comparison to much tabloid media travelling in the opposite direction. beyond saying that what he is discussing hits SUCH a sore spot with this writer also.

    Thanks, Terence.

  4. Michael Taylor

    Instead of shouting from the rooftops that Labor hasn’t fixed anything, the LNP should have the decency to admit that they broke it in the first place.

    Oh, that takes courage. Silly me.

  5. paul walter

    Broke so many things. Like Trump, like the British Tories. We had NINE years of decay in the interests of a few TNC’s and their grasping stringpullars and their political and msm lackies.

    Now, on the eve of a recession, the cupboard is bare, not even a bone for us dogs.

  6. Fred

    Are we being punished by the fossil fuel industry by having so much of the generating capacity offline being overhauled/maintained/whatever excuse that the price has gone up? Any cartel behavior going on or am I just being paranoid?

  7. leefe


    It also takes honesty, and they have even less of that.

  8. Michael Taylor

    So true, leefe. They have shown they possess not a single drop.

  9. Albos Elbow

    Fred, no paranoia.
    The former COAL-NP government were/still are in bed with fossil fuels companies giving them very generous subsidies and concession while artificiall inflating retail energy prices, including taking coal fired power stations offline to increase demand and reduce supply.

    The writing is on the wall, but they are trying to squeeze every last dollar they can out of fossil fuels by delaying the move to renewables for as long as possible and manipulating the market in any way they can.

    The best thing Australia can do is to transition to renewable energy ASAP.

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