Family First welcomes the Coalition’s move to take nuclear energy policy to the next election.

This brings much needed common-sense into the energy and climate debates.

As the blackouts in Victoria this week show, net zero policies relying on expensive and unreliable windmills and solar panels are disastrous.

A storm, a hot day and the loss of two transmission towers would not normally trip an electricity grid.

But “climate action” policies, supported by both Labor and Liberal, have seen the closure of massive coal power generators, leaving the system fragile.

With net zero delivering net zero electricity for hundreds of thousands of Victorians, the Peter Dutton-led Coalition is now pivoting to a policy of nuclear energy providing the missing firming for intermittent renewables.

Without coal or gas, it is the only way to keep the lights on.

Family First has long argued there should be no transition until viable energy alternatives that are affordable and reliable are found.

Instead, both sides of politics have backed the closure of coal without proper alternative generation capacity in place.

Now that reality is biting, the Coalition which under Scott Morrison signed Australia up to net zero by 2050 without a plan to provide base-load electricity, looks now to be developing a viable alternative with the nuclear option.

Labor’s reliance on carpeting the countryside with intermittent renewables and ugly and expensive transmission towers is disastrous for the economy and the environment.

The Coalition is proposing to place nuclear reactors on sites formally used by coal generators where access already exists to transmission lines.

The Coalition is not saying no to renewables but it is saying the firming of them, something missing from Labor’s policy, will come from nuclear energy.

Family First insists a proper cost benefit analysis of the economics and engineering of renewables should be conducted before further windmills and solar panels are rolled out across the countryside and that they should not be subsidised by the taxpayer.

It seems both sides of politics are captured by the renewable energy sector, which relies on taxpayer largess.

But at least some sense is entering the debate and new battlelines for the next federal election are being drawn.