Barnaby Joyce and Tanya Plibersek in a fiery exchange about electricity price hikes

A heated exchange of blows between Tanya Plibersek and Barnaby Joyce has led the former deputy prime minister to accuse the government of “power politics in the cuckoo’s land”.

As time is running out for the federal government to find a solution to high energy prices before the self-imposed Christmas deadline, Mr Joyce has attacked the Environment Secretary in a Channel 7 panel for not explicitly setting out the plan.

Ms Plibersek said the government is working “very hard” with gas companies and state and local governments to bring energy prices down, but the long-term priority is to invest in renewable energy because “we know it’s the cheapest form of energy is electricity in human history”.

Mr Joyce interjected and said: ‘It isn’t. It’s just not, that’s wrong.”

“It’s ridiculous to say that. Look at your electricity bill – this is the reality.

“If you want electricity prices to go down, don’t listen to the Labor Party – look at your electricity bills, they’re going through the roof.

“This whole renewable thing, pretending electricity is free – it’s never been more expensive in our lives.

“It is ridiculous.”

Ms Plibersek said the problem was that the infrastructure wasn’t there and then electricity bills wouldn’t rise as high.

She blamed the previous government for a decade of inaction and said it is why so many Australians are now injured.

Ms Plibersek said Mr Joyce was responsible for “shutting down power plants” before an alternative was put in place.

“What did you do to stop it?” She said.

Mr. Joyce responded by saying, “You are the government.”

Mr Joyce ended the exchange by saying Labor’s energy policy was “cuckoo’s home”.

Originally published as Barnaby Joyce and Tanya Plibersek in a fiery exchange about electricity price hikes

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