Push for energy royal commission

(Australian Associated Press)


Malcolm Turnbull was forced into holding a banking royal commission and now the Greens and Labor want a similar inquiry into the energy sector.

Several coalition MPs have raised the idea of a royal commission into electricity prices, so the opposition parties are working on a way to get them to put their money where their mouth is.

The tactic worked last year, when Nationals MPs threatened to cross the floor to vote for a commission of inquiry into the banking sector.

Eventually prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and then-treasurer Scott Morrison were forced to call a royal commission against their will.

Since then, Mr Morrison has admitted he was wrong to oppose the banking inquiry.

When Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton quit his role to challenge Mr Turnbull, one of his policy ideas was a royal commission into electricity prices.

Coalition backbenchers Barnaby Joyce and Craig Kelly also wanted the government to threaten energy companies with a royal commission.

Labor wants an inquiry to focus on the effects of privatisation, while the Greens also want it to look at the deregulation of an essential service.

The move could be passed through the Senate with crossbench support and then sent to the lower house where coalition MPs’ commitment to the idea would be tested.


Photo by Álvaro Serrano on Unsplash


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