Political Chronicles 317 and passed without a single amendment, despite conservatives demanding more legal protections for religious institutions (the key vote in the Senate was 43-12 in favour, with some 21 not voting or abstaining). Following the passage of the enabling bill, scenes of jubilation were witnessed in the parliament and in street gatherings. On the issue of energy uncertainty, state blackouts, rising electricity and gas prices, and the decommissioning of older, high carbon-producing, power stations, all added to the controversies over a national plan for reliable and sustainable energy production. After severe blackouts in South Australia following the closure of old power stations and the reliance on wind, solar and the national grid supply, the issue of future electricity supply erupted as a national concern, with both sides of politics blaming each other for a persistent failure to act or for adopting sub-optimal policies. Indeed, a report of the Energy Security Board (ESB), established in August 2017 and chaired by Professor Kerry Schott, stated: “fifteen years of climate policy instability has complicated long- term investments […] left our energy system vulnerable to escalating prices while being both less reliable and secure” (ESB National Energy Guarantee, Consultation Paper 2018,
Australian Journal of Politics and History – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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