Albanese keeps Butler in climate and energy portfolio, as LNP renews call for nuclear

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Labor looks to hold steady on climate and energy policies as Albanese reappoints Mark Butler to portfolio. Meanwhile, LNP members re-boot their nuclear fantasies.

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New Labor leader Anthony Albanese has re-appointed Mark Butler as opposition spokesman on climate change and energy, ensuring that there is continuity in people, if not in policy mechanisms, in the next parliament.

Butler will resume his intense battle with the Coalition’s Angus Taylor, who remains energy minister but also adds the portfolio of “emissions reductions” in the reframed government cabinet. That would be a step forward, but probably a more obvious one if Taylor were to admit that emissions are, in fact, rising rather than falling as he claims.

The other key posts in the new Albanese shadow minister are Terri Butler, who replaces Tony Burke in the environment and water, and will face off against Sussan Ley, who replaced Melissa Price in the environment portfolio last week’s reshuffle by prime minister Scott Morrison, while David Littlepround, who is minister for water resources, which used to be part of his former and broader agriculture portfolio.

Other major shifts in the shadow portfolio include the anticipated promotion of Jim Chalmers to treasury, new deputy Senate leader Kristina Keneally for home affairs and immigration, while former leader Bill Shorten gets NDIS and former treasury spokesman Chris Bowen gets health.

There is some speculation that Labor will review the climate and energy policies it took to the last election – most notably its 50 per cent renewables target and 45 per cent emissions reduction target, although this is likely only to be in the mechanisms chosen rather than the scale of ambition.

Butler certainly showed no signs of backing down, tweeting that he would “continue to argue for real climate action and genuine energy policy” every day.

Butler is also a strong support of electric vehicles, and unveiled a widely supported policy (apart from the Coalition and the Murdoch media) for a 50 per cent share of new vehicle sales by 2030 to be EVs. This was mostly targeted at business fleets – which account for more than half of new vehicle sales – to effect that transition.

Taylor, however, launched an absurd campaign against EVs – along with Morrison and many other ministers, and with the Murdoch media in uncritical chorus, even though the Coalition’s own limited emissions reduction targets factor in a potential share of up to 50 per cent for EVs in new vehicle sales over the same time span.

Taylor has been calling on Labor to follow in behind the Coalition’s 26-28 per cent emissions reduction target, which is regarded by climate analysts as a small downpayment on the country’s fair share of the Paris climate treaty, and one that will need to be significantly upgraded if the 2°C target is to be capped, let alone the aspirational goal of capping average global warming at 1.5°C.

Meanwhile, Taylor is also under pressure from Queensland-based LNP members to embrace a new coal fired generator near Townsville, although some of those same MPs are now pushing for a review of Australia’s nuclear power ban, and have a loud chorus in the Murdoch media and talk-back radio.

This is despite any number of studies, including the recent South Australia Royal Commission, and more recently by the CSIRO and the Australian Energy Market Operator pointing out that building new nuclear power stations is by far the most expensive form of generation.

They put the minimum cost at $250/MWh, more than double the current price of wholesale electricity and more than three times the government’s targeted average wholesale price of $70/MWh for 2021.

Albanese, meanwhile, will call the shadow ministry to a meeting in Brisbane on Tuesday, before sending them out on a “listening” tour to gauge reactions to their policies and find out “why only one in three voters gave Labor their first preference at the election on May 18”.

(Updates story to correct environment portfolio).

The full shadow ministry announced by Albanese on Sunday.

Hon Anthony Albanese MP
Leader of the Opposition

Hon Richard Marles MP
Deputy Leader of the Opposition
Shadow Minister for Defence

Senator the Hon Penny Wong
Leader of the Opposition in the Senate
Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs

Senator the Hon Kristina Keneally
Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate
Shadow Minister for Home Affairs
Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship

Hon Tony Burke MP
Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations
Shadow Minister for the Arts
Manager of Opposition Business in the House of Representatives

Hon Bill Shorten MP
Shadow Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme
Shadow Minister for Government Services

Hon Tanya Plibersek MP
Shadow Minister for Education and Training

Dr Jim Chalmers MP
Shadow Treasurer

Hon Mark Butler MP
Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy
Deputy Manager of Opposition Business in the House of Representatives

Hon Chris Bowen MP
Shadow Minister for Health

Hon Catherine King MP
Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development

Hon Joel Fitzgibbon MP
Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Resources

Senator the Hon Don Farrell
Shadow Special Minister of State
Shadow Minister for Sport
Shadow Minister for Tourism
Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader of the Opposition

Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MP
Shadow Attorney-General
Shadow Minister for Constitutional Reform

Michelle Rowland MP
Shadow Minister for Communications

Senator Katy Gallagher
Shadow Minister for Finance
Shadow Minister for the Public Service
Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate

Hon Linda Burney MP
Shadow Minister for Families and Social Services
Shadow Minister for Indigenous Australians

Hon Julie Collins MP
Shadow Minister for Ageing and Seniors
Shadow Minister for Women

Hon Brendan O’Connor MP
Shadow Minister for Employment and Industry
Shadow Minister for Science
Shadow Minister for Small and Family Business

Hon Jason Clare MP
Shadow Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government
Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness

Hon Amanda Rishworth MP
Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education
Shadow Minister for Youth

Terri Butler MP
Shadow Minister for the Environment and Water

Madeleine King MP
Shadow Minister for Trade

Outer Shadow Ministry

Stephen Jones MP
Shadow Assistant Treasurer
Shadow Minister for Financial Services

Hon Shayne Neumann MP
Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel

Clare O’Neil MP
Shadow Minister for Innovation, Technology and the Future of Work

Pat Conroy MP
Shadow Minister for International Development and the Pacific
Shadow Minister Assisting for Climate Change
Shadow Minister Assisting for Defence

Andrew Giles MP
Shadow Minister for Cities and Urban Infrastructure
Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs
Shadow Minister Assisting for Immigration and Citizenship

Matt Keogh MP
Shadow Minister for Defence Industry
Shadow Minister for Western Australian Resources
Shadow Minister Assisting for Small and Family Business

Senator Murray Watt
Shadow Minister for Northern Australia
Shadow Minister for Natural Disaster and Emergency Management

Assistant Ministers

Senator Jenny McAllister
Shadow Cabinet Secretary
Shadow Assistant Minister to the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate

Senator Carol Brown
Shadow Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Tourism
Shadow Assistant Minister for Tasmania

Senator Patrick Dodson
Shadow Assistant Minister for Reconciliation
Shadow Assistant Minister for Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians

Hon Dr Andrew Leigh MP
Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury
Shadow Assistant Minister for Charities

Hon Warren Snowdon MP
Shadow Assistant Minister for Northern Australia
Shadow Assistant Minister for External Territories
Shadow Assistant Minister for Indigenous Australians

Graham Perrett MP
Shadow Assistant Minister for Education and Training

Emma McBride MP
Shadow Assistant Minister for Mental Health
Shadow Assistant Minister for Carers

Senator Glenn Sterle
Shadow Assistant Minister for Road Safety

Hon Dr Mike Kelly AM MP
Shadow Assistant Minister for Defence
Hon Matt Thistlethwaite MP
Shadow Assistant Minister for Financial Services
Shadow Assistant Minister for the Republic

Ged Kearney MP
Shadow Assistant Minister for Skills
Shadow Assistant Minister for Aged Care

Josh Wilson MP
Shadow Assistant Minister for the Environment

Sen Kimberley Kitching
Shadow Assistant Minister for Government Accountability
Deputy Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate

Senator Louise Pratt
Shadow Assistant Minister for Manufacturing

Tim Watts MP
Shadow Assistant Minister for Communications
Shadow Assistant Minister for Cyber Security

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