Commonsense Chapter Two: Cheap Coal, Cheap Power

4 July, 2024

Here's another dose of Monash common sense from Russell Broadbent. One thing that I have always held up very high, as the member for Monash—and, formerly, the member for McMillan, and the member for Corinella before that—is that I have a duty of care not only to the people that I represent locally but also to the nation. We are parliamentary representatives—and I have the greatest respect for every member of parliament who comes into this place with a view to putting Australians and their best interests first and having a duty of care towards them.

As to that duty of care, have you ever thought for a minute why there isn't already a nuclear plant here in Australia? Well, we have one—but a major nuclear power plant? There is one very good reason. It's because we have an abundance of natural resources in coal and gas.

How dare it be written, as it was in one of the newspapers I read on the weekend, that coal is the cheapest form of electricity! Coal powerfully grew the Hunter Valley. It powerfully grew the Latrobe Valley and gave Victoria an abundance of cheap power. We have so much gas underground in Victoria, it's nearly bubbling to the top by itself. But there's a moratorium in Victoria that says: 'We lack common sense. We are going to cut both our hands off in regard to energy so we can't use these amazing natural resources that we have.' If we don't address that, and exercise our duty of care towards the Australian people, we are going to end up having—not brownouts, but we'll be running out of power in some spots. So we'll just switch off Bendigo for a while, or we'll take the biggest business we can find and tell them: 'You're going to have to curtail what you're using at the moment. We're going to have to cut your gas down for a while, so you won't be able to operate that day. Can you agree with that?'

My wife had a day this week without power and she went through all the issues. I said, 'Look, I've got this fantastic battery boiler; you can put it onto the car, a six-volt battery, and boil yourself a cup of coffee.' Well, it worked, but it took an hour and a half to boil. I mean, there are restrictions on other, alternative methods of getting something boiled.

We get electricity when we boil water and put steam through a turbine. And what's the damning part? Where do people attack us? They come along and say: 'Look this pollution in the Latrobe Valley,' and they show a picture of steam coming off the cooling towers! Yes, you can see the smoke stacks as well. But what we desperately need to do is to make sure that those coal-fired power plants in and around my electorate are still there and pumping away. We've got to put energy into them and exercise ourselves as to looking after those power plants.

Stay In Touch

Please contact my office with any issue or concerns you have. I am here to listen and represent you.
Contact Us
Russell Broadbent MP
Sign up here to receive the latest news from my inbox.