Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson has been interrupted by anti-fossil fuel protesters as he outlined plans to overhaul the national energy market.
The two men took over the podium during Mr Ferguson's speech, accusing him of being a "puppet" of the fossil fuel industry and singing a satirical song about global warning.
The protesters, who appeared to be the same people who interrupted a speech by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott last week, were eventually ushered off stage after several minutes.
Mr Ferguson used the speech to launch the Government's energy white paper, with a strong focus on giving consumers .
He declared recent power price rises were "not sustainable" and it would take "political courage" by Commonwealth and state governments to put in place the reforms needed to foster greater competition.
His speech paves the way for tough negotiations between the Prime Minister and premiers at next month's Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting, something the Coalition suggests is designed to distract attention from the carbon tax.
Speaking to reporters in Bali, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said she would be relying on "a bit of charm and a bit of force" to get state and territory leaders on side.
But NSW Energy Minister Chris Hartcher has already said his Government would not agree to fully deregulate the energy market until he was confident power prices would not go up as a result.
The white paper includes a significant focus on household power prices, compared with the draft document that was released a year ago, in recognition of the heightened political debate over who is responsible for recent increases.
Mr Abbott says the Government would scrap the carbon tax if it is serious about easing electricity prices.
But Mr Ferguson says the carbon pricing scheme has added only "marginally" to power prices and has instead focused on the need deregulate the industry and introduce demand-based pricing.
That would allow consumers to slash electricity costs by alerting them to periods of peak demand so they can moderate their power use.Â More gas The paper suggests that by 2050, up to 85 per cent of Australia's domestic electricity requirements will be generated through clean energy technologies such as wind and solar, a transformation that would require an investment of more than $200 billion.
But it also identifies the need to grow the country's gas industry by removing impediments to offshore and onshore reserves including coal-seam gas and shale gas resources.
Despite strong community concerns about coal-seam gas projects on agricultural land, the paper talks of the need for a policy of "coexistence, rather than exclusion".
Greens leader Christine Milne has slammed the white paper's focus on gas and its recommendation for streamlined environmental approvals.
"What that means is Australia's farmland, its aquifers, communities who are already outraged by the onrush of coal-seam gas are going to see this as yet more taking away of their rights to facilitate the fossil fuel industry," Senator Milne told reporters in Hobart.
"Sadly, the focus is still way too much on a dash for gas.
That clearly is Martin Ferguson with his fossilised fingers all over the past." By 2035, Australia's gas production is predicted to quadruple on the back of strong growth in the liquefied natural gas industry, although the paper suggests there could be short to medium-term pressures on east coast supplies until new projects come on line.
Despite that, Mr Ferguson has strongly rejected calls for gas supplies to be reserved for domestic consumption, arguing it should be left to the market to balance supply and demand.
The Coalition believes the white paper is compromised because of Labor's track record of its treatment of the sector.
"It has been the hallmark of the Rudd and Gillard governments to create constant instability by introducing new tax raids such as the carbon tax, mining tax, changes to the alternative fuels tax and a hike in condensate tax and changing the rules midstream for investors," Opposition energy and resources spokesman Ian MacFarlane said in a statement.Â Nuclear power The energy white paper predicts world-wide nuclear power generation is likely to continue to grow in the medium to long term, despite the Fukushima emergency in Japan last year.
It says planned reactor decommissioning in Europe and Japan will be offset by new plants in China, South Korea and other developing countries.
Australia is well placed to take advantage of that growth given its rich uranium deposits, but the white paper says it is becoming harder for Australian producers to ship the mineral overseas.
Uranium is currently shipped out of the ports of Adelaide and Darwin, however the Government is considering opening up additional ports on the east coast to increase access to international shipping routes.
Despite the country's uranium reserves, the white paper is firm in the Governmentâs opposition to nuclear energy domestically.
Mr Ferguson, a long-term supporter of nuclear energy, says it is not cost competitive given the abundant access to cheap coal supplies and there is still no community consensus on the issue.
"If we get to a point in the future by which we're not achieving our outcomes in terms of reducing emissions and we need to look at some other form of clean energy, then there will be...
an ongoing debate about nuclear energy," Mr Ferguson said.