WATCH: New minister for resources, energy and Northern Australia Josh Frydenberg has assuaged concerns that the new Turnbull Government could be bad for Australia’s coal sector in a TV interview with opinion machine Andrew Bolt.
Frydenberg, who Bolt labelled “the new Mr Coal,” said the climate-conscious Turnbull was not a threat to Australia’s carbon-based energy producers.
“I think the prime minister and I understand that coal is an important part of the energy mix,” Frydenberg told the program on Sunday.
“The world gets more than 40% of its electricity from coal.
“More than one billion people in the world don’t have access to electricity, so the Australian supplies are extremely important.
“Coal in Australia provides tens of thousands of jobs, tens of billions of dollars in terms of export revenue, and our coal is low in sulphur, low in ash, and is being used right throughout the region in these high-efficiency, low emission new coal burning electricity plants.”
Frydenberg was hesitant to agree with Bolt’s assertion that “Tony Abbott was right: Coal is good for humanity,” but said he supported the moral case for providing coal and gas “to lift people out of energy poverty”.
The new minister was also confident the Adani coal mine in Queensland would go ahead. “It’s an important project,” he said. “This is going to see more than $16 billion worth of investment, [and] more than 10,000 jobs being created.”
Bolt also probed the new minister over renewable energy.
“I’m not ideological about what types of renewable energy we have,” he said. “I think renewable energy is an important part of the overall energy mix … but it’s important to understand that with renewable energy, Andrew, that you can’t do it without natural resources.
“To make a wind turbine you need 220 tonnes of coking coal. To make a solar panel you need 16 different metals and minerals,” he said.
Watch the full interview below.