Australia needs to be 'relentless' against terrorism: Turnbull

States could go it alone on a carbon scheme for the electricity sector after the federal government ruled one out, South Australia's premier says.

Mr Turnbull said the government would never increase the cost of energy for Australian families and businesses.

The Finkel report has generated fresh embarrassment for the Turnbull government because it implicitly endorses an emissions intensity trading scheme for the electricity industry to help manage the necessary transition from high-emission energy sources to lower-emission technologies at least cost to households.

"What Mr Turnbull needs to do out of today is stand up for real action on climate change".

Those are making sure there is a stable and reliable electricity market, reducing emissions and keeping prices down.

The prime minister was asked about a number of credible studies that have found an intensity trading scheme would allow Australia to conform with our global emissions reduction commitments with the least impact on household power bills, including a study this week which found power bills could be $200 a year less than under the government's existing policy.

"It would be a great irony if he was to lose his job for a second time being on the opposite side of the debate", he said, referring to Turnbull being replaced as Liberal leader over his support for Labor's emissions trading scheme in 2009.

"It was disappointing to see earlier this week the Prime Minister rule out an emissions intensity scheme, he said, adding that the Mr Turnbull had reverted to the "infantile slogans" he had criticised before becoming Prime Minister". "We will not be imposing a carbon tax and we will not be imposing an emissions trading scheme, however it is called", he said.

Australia Energy Council chief Matthew Warren, representing most electricity generators, declined to comment directly on the about-face, but reiterated substantial policy change was needed.

Climate Institute deputy chief executive Erwin Jackson said without a plan the government risked turning Australia into a third-world economy.

Mr Frydenberg subsequently also denied an emissions intensity scheme had ever been on the table, despite having told Fairfax Media and the ABC that the review would look at it.

He stressed that the security of the electricity grid was not as strong as in the past, and investors had lost confidence and wanted a coordinated national approach to energy and climate policies.

While Mr Turnbull maintained Australia could meet its climate targets with existing policies, Dr Finkel said they were not consistent the 2030 goal set in Paris.

And Dr Finkel said electricity prices were high - up nearly 50 per cent in six years - partly due to network expansion, but also due to high gas prices.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews greets NSW Premier Mike Baird ahead of COAG in Canberra on Friday.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she believed there should be a clear, national energy policy from the federal government.

No decision was made on a nationwide standard for family violence leave.



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