Attack on Groom shows Liberal split on energy
- Barnett’s rush to distance himself from Groom creates serious questions
- Doubt over second interconnector, energy strategy
- Liberal infighting and tension taking precedence over policy
Former Energy Minister Matthew Groom has barely had time to pack up his desk but the sniping from his own colleagues has already started as uncertainty looms over the energy portfolio.
Incoming Energy Minister Guy Barnett distanced himself from his predecessor with his new “Tasmania First” approach to energy under his watch – throwing the Liberals’ approach to energy into chaos.
“Incoming Minister Guy Barnett’s “under my watch” declaration is clearly a thinly veiled swipe at his predecessor,” Shadow Energy Minister Scott Bacon said.
“The Liberals’ new ‘Tasmania first’ rhetoric is an admission of the underperformance of Matthew Groom and his disappointing energy strategy.
“Mr Barnett’s statement is at odds with what was thought to be Liberal policy to back in a second interconnector to the mainland.
“Are the Liberals walking away from their commitment to investigate a second Basslink? And what will become of Mr Groom’s signature energy strategy?
“In his haste to ditch Mr Groom’s policy Mr Barnett has shown his inexperience by creating more confusion in a vital portfolio.
“Mr Barnett seems to be focused on sticking the boots into his departing colleague rather than getting on with the job.
“Today’s unedifying send off for Matthew Groom is further proof there’s significant displeasure over his departure within Liberal ranks.
“Guy Barnett has been let off the leash to let Matthew Groom know he won’t be missed around the cabinet table. The tension when parliament returns will be palpable.”