Moderate Liberals have clashed with their Nationals colleagues over the future of coal-fired power in Australia.
The Morrison government promised during last year’s election campaign to fund a feasibility study into a new coal-fired power plant in north Queensland, writing a cheque for up to $4 million.
While the Nationals are spruiking the Collinsville project’s job-creating potential, some Liberal MPs say it doesn’t stack up.
Sydney Liberal MP Jason Falinski says there are better energy options.
He thinks the feasibility study should still go ahead because it was an election commitment.
“But it will not lead to a new coal-fired power station being built,” Mr Falinski said on Wednesday.
“There are more economically efficient and environmentally cleaner options for power generation in Australia.”
Sydney Liberal MPs Dave Sharma and Trent Zimmerman have made similar comments, saying new coal-fired power stations don’t stack up.
Labor is trying to stop the feasibility study through a disallowance motion in the Senate, with the support of the Greens.
The federal opposition has also asked the auditor-general to investigate the grant, after revelations Shine Energy was asked to apply for the money after the government had already announced it was successful.