The arrival of a fierce wintry blast to the south-east of the continent has coincided with a sudden spike in spot electricity prices in many states, providing the Albanese government with its first major challenge - and one not of its making.
While ACT consumers have been largely protected from the fall-out, energy price rises elsewhere in the country arrive at a time when cost of living pressures - including big increases in the cost of petrol - have begun to sheet home some of the poor, short-term policy decisions of the previous government.
The debacle of the latest big rise in retail electricity costs reveal just part of the deception with the Liberal National Party aware of what was coming, but choosing to keep the public in the dark.
The LNP delayed the May 1 release of the default market offer, in which the Australian Energy Regulator each year determines the maximum price a retailer can charge customers on default contracts, known as standing offer contracts.
Instead, the announcement - which would have delivered the bad news of big retail electricity price rises at the height of the election campaign - was pushed out to May 26. Clearly the reasoning was that if it won the election, the LNP would spin its response in whatever way it chose.
In losing the election, the ousted LNP handballed the problem to Labor.
Billionaire businessman Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest has wasted no time in delivering a fierce missive to the Morrison government's mismanagement on this issue, accusing it of falling for the "gas industry con" and "paying lip service" to renewables.
"Because we had many years of a coal and gas-worshipping government we missed the opportunity to turn Australia into a green-energy superpower," he said.
An environmental rationalist, Dr Forrest has been pushing the hydrogen and green energy barrow out of the west for many years and putting his money where his mouth is via the Fortescue Future Industries fund, building a portfolio of green energy assets.
While his company is a heavy carbon emitter, he's pushing hard to deliver high performance battery and electrification systems for the heavy transport vital to his business.
He's been fiercely critical - and rightly so - of how the LNP has kowtowed to vested oil, coal and gas interests.
The oil industry has worked the former government over for years. Last year, two major oil refineries in Australia were shut down and hundreds of jobs lost, the companies claiming the facilities were no longer "economically viable". But in April this year, the Morrison government pledged $250 million in fresh subsidies.
Similarly, the LNP was led by the nose on carbon capture and storage as a means of justifying new oil and gas developments, muddying the discussion by using its election war chest to announce so-called "hydrogen hubs".
While hydrogen is clean energy, that always depends on how it is generated. Former PM Morrison cleverly harnessed the public's confusion around "grey", "brown", "blue" and "green" hydrogen, with the clean latter form always given short shrift.
Generating green hydrogen requires significant quantities of electricity to power the electrolysis process, which splits water into hydrogen and oxygen.
Renewables, backed by massive battery storage capacity, can drive this power generation but only with clear and unequivocal policy support, subsidies and commitment. Consider, too, that countries like Japan and South Korea are ready export markets for such a product.
So much opportunity has been lost on looking backward, rather than forward. As Dr Forrest rightly says, there's no time to waste.
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