Over the past week, the debate over Australia's net zero emissions targets and associated policies has intensified, reflecting on-going deep divisions on about the future of energy policy.

Central to the discussion are the economic implications of transitioning toward renewable energy and the government's recent policy initiatives, notably the "ute tax," which have sparked widespread controversy for their impact on the cost of living and consumer freedoms.

Queensland LNP Senator Matt Canavan's remarks on Facebook today vividly capture the dichotomy within the global energy landscape and Australia's role within it:

"There are more than 500 coal-fired power stations being built around the world. But we are trying to close the 18 remaining Australian coal plants because we think that will cool the planet. Other countries are getting cheap power using our coal! This is crazy."

Canavan’s continued interventions in the energy debate are at odds with the Coalition’s policy supporting net zero by 2050.

Canavan’s sentiment underscores a critical view of Australia's unilateral efforts to reduce emissions, questioning the effectiveness and economic wisdom of side-lining coal in favour of expensive and unreliable renewable sources.

Family First shares this concern.

It raises questions as to why both sides of politics support continuing to subsidise renewables and priorities them over reliability and affordability at a time when suburban Australians are suffering under the cost-of-living crisis.

The Australian’s columnist and Sky news commentator Peta Credlin's analysis further illuminates the financial strains imposed by the net zero agenda on Australian households.

The shift from coal and gas to renewable energy sources necessitates substantial investment in new infrastructure and technology, with costs projected to exceed $1.5 trillion by 2030.

Credlin writes:

“Despite claiming the move to 82 per cent renewables by 2030 (compared with about 30 per cent now) would cut power bills by $275 per household a year, even Labor admitted pre-election that 10,000-plus kilometres of new transmission lines would cost $80bn. Then there’s the capital cost of the 22,000 new solar panels (mostly imported from China) that must be installed every single day and the 40 large wind towers that must be built every single month.”

These expenses will be borne by people who pay electricity bills. They raise concerns over the feasibility and fairness of the transition, especially given the need for reliable energy supply amidst the unreliability of renewable sources.

Family First is calling for a pause on net zero policies until proper engineering and economic analysis has been conducted.

Both sides of politics are pursuing net zero when there is no engineering and economic case to make the transition feasible let alone viable for households and industry.

Family First also wants to see the ban on nuclear energy lifted so all options can be on the table.

The Albanese Government’s introduction of the "ute tax," aimed at encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) by increasing the cost of traditional internal combustion engine vehicles, is a step backwards.

This policy not only inflates the cost of popular vehicles but also infringes on consumer choice, with parties like Family First advocating for market-driven solutions rather than government-imposed mandates.