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The Marshall energy option highlights policy vacuum

Friday, 31 March 2017

Former State Liberal Leader, Minister for Investment and Trade Martin Hamilton-Smith says the Leader of the Opposition Steven Marshall exists in a political policy vacuum and that what South Australia needs is movers and shakers, not groovers and fakers.

As Liberal Leader, Mr Marshall lacks vision, plans for the future and his position on energy is full of contradictions. His energy option - to retain an old coal fired plan - is the 1946 plan, out of date and out of step with community views, Mr Hamilton-Smith said.


Mr Hamilton-Smith was speaking against the Liberal’s no confidence motion against the State Government over energy policies today.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Investment and Trade

After 20 years in politics and upon listening to this motion, I’ve come to the conclusion, politicians generally fall into three categories. Firstly there are the movers; those motivated by vision, policy agendas and the desire to change the world. People who look for solutions rather than dwelling on the problems.

Then there are the groovers; those motivated by the power, the position and the personal excitement of politics. They grandstand about the problem, seeking to pass blame for effect and personal political benefit.

Then there are the passengers who just go along for the ride in politics, making little difference. As the State Government’s Energy Plan shows, the Premier is a mover.

The Leader of the Opposition, sadly, is a groover. Policy is a no-go zone for the Leader. His motion offers no solution. The Opposition’s position is a set of contradictions.

They claim to support renewable energy, but oppose an Emissions Trading Scheme.

The Leader is wedded to a brown coal future for SA, but his energy spokesman has told parliament he supports solar farms and a renewable future.

The Leader opposed the debate on a nuclear future, yet later claimed he would support nuclear energy. The Opposition claims to support gas generation, yet they argue for coal.

They claim to be financially prudent and good business managers, yet their support of an Alinta subsidy would expose the taxpayers to unlimited risk and fatal damage to the Budget.

He wants a fossil fuel future, but locks the gate on gas exploration.

He demands SA keep an old brown coal power station open, yet his Prime Minister refuses the same course of action for Victoria’s Hazelwood Station.

Steven Marshall has proposed paying money to an old coal fired plant to maybe hang around for a few years, losing money every year and increasing the cost of remediation.

The Marshall option looks more like 1946 - the year that Tupperware was first sold in the USA.

That’s the Marshall vision – brown coal and a Tupperware container to carry your lunch.