7 February 2013 — Opposition Leader Tony Abbott wants to use his Direct Action policy on climate change to build a power station in Papua New Guinea, according to leaked documents, Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Minister Greg Combet says.
Mr Combet said the documents show the power station would be connected to Australia’s electricity grid with about 1500 kilometres of poles, wires and undersea cables.
“This latest thought bubble could cost over $5 billion and swallow Direct Action’s entire budget over the forward estimates – for a power plant in another country which would not come on stream until late this decade,” Mr Combet said.
“If this PNG energy project makes economic sense, the (Federal) Government’s policies including the carbon price provide the incentives to ensure it is delivered by the private sector.
“Otherwise the Coalition would be channelling taxpayer funds into a fiscal white elephant.”