Deputy prime minister says lights would ‘go out’ if coal was phased out and doesn’t rule out the government funding new coal-fired power plant

Barnaby Joyce says coal-fired power needs to remain in Australia’s energy mix for the foreseeable future and he has not ruled out the Turnbull government either indemnifying or funding a new power plant.

In an interview with the ABC on Sunday morning as the government is considering its response to the Finkel review of the national electricity market, the deputy prime minster and Nationals leader said if coal was phased out “then your TVs should go dark and the lights go out”.

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