Sunrise host Nat Barr has ripped into Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce after he backed calls from French President Emmanuel Macron for Australia to lift its nuclear ban.
Joyce appeared on the breakfast show alongside Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek on Monday, arguing for the removal of state and federal prohibitions on nuclear energy.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Natt Barr clashes with Barnaby Joyce in heated discussion.
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Nat immediately grilled Joyce, asking why the Coalition didn’t lift the nuclear ban while they were in power.
Nat Barr and Barnaby Joyce clash on Sunrise. Credit: Seven News
“Barnaby, you were in for 10 or 11 years, why didn’t you start?” Nat fired off.
Outspoken Barnaby appeared somewhat stumped by the question, forcing him to stumble over his words as he formed a quick reply.
“At that point in time we had coal fire power stations all across the nation and they were going very well for cheap power,” Barnaby fired back.
Nat, however, did not let him off the hook for the government’s lack of strategic planning.
“People (advisers) didn’t just think we were going to run out of power a year ago? Did they?” Nat asked, somewhat rhetorically.
Elsewhere in the interview Plibersek argued the expansion of nuclear power would be “slow” and “expensive” for Australia, arguing for greater reliance on renewables.
‘‘It’s slow to build and expensive. We’ve got endless amounts of cheap solar and wind in Australia – which we’re getting on with building,” Tanya said.
Plibersek argued renewables would also help the hip pocket of everyday Aussies.
“We’re got an 82 per cent renewable energy target because it will bring down power prices and do it in a way that doesn’t damage our environment,” she added.
Barnaby argued if the infrastructure was “so expensive” then it should be left to market forces.
‘’Get rid of the prohibitions at a federal level and a state level, let the market decide, so you have nothing to worry about,’’ he said.
“If it’s fantastically dear, nobody will bother building it.”
Tanya argued that “nine power stations were closed while the Coalition were in power”, with Barnaby hitting back by saying Labor had no plan to bring down bills.
“Your plan is the power prices going through the roof. We’re seeing that … It’s a fiasco,” he said.
Nat offered the former deputy prime minister the “last word”, which he used to back Macron’s plan to triple nuclear energy by 2050 — a move that has been reportedly backed by more than 20 countries at the current 2023 UN Climate Change Conference in Dubai.
“I’ve always been pro-nuclear and I’ve always thought it’s been really important,” Barnaby said.
“As you get the decommissioning of coal-fire power plants, you should be at the very least moving the prohibitions on nuclear power.”
Finishing the interview, Nat also didn’t let Plibersek off the hook, saying: “The other countries are doing it (Tanya). So maybe we should do it?”