Malcolm Turnbull energy policy
Photo: Mick Tsikas/AAP.

The Prime Minister's concession to party rebels on energy policy is not merely a victory for climate denialists and the far right, but a significant shift toward interventionism in Australian policymaking -- and arguably an overdue one. The policy package announced on Monday includes, in Malcolm Turnbull's words:

Significant new powers so the ACCC can step in where there has been an abuse or misuse of market power. In the most egregious cases of market abuse, where the warnings from the ACCC are not adequately addressed, additional powers will be conferred on government to issue directions on operations, functional separation and even as a last resort, divestiture of parts of the big power companies... breaking up market concentration by ordering the separation of vertically integrated companies, yes, it is a power of last resort, but it’s necessary to have it available and we’ll make sure the government and the ACCC has the strongest tools with all of the appropriate safeguards.