Wednesday, 21 June 2017
Questions without Notice
and acknowledge her deep concern about the impact rising electricity prices are having on the households and the businesses in Mitcham, in Blackwood and across her electorate. That is why she welcomes the Turnbull government's moves to rein in the retail prices and to invest record amounts in storage technology. There is yesterday's announcement of the abolition of the limited merits review process and also the restrictions on gas exports. We are very pleased on this side of the House to see our announcements yesterday welcomed by the Grattan Institute, welcomed by Energy Consumers Australia and by the Energy Users Association of Australia. With more than two million small businesses across the country, the Council of Small Business said that the Turnbull government's moves will inhibit price rises and create downward pressure on current prices.
I am asked about alternatives and hurdles. We know that those opposite doubled the electricity prices when they were in government, we know that they gave us the citizens assembly, we know that they gave us the 'cash for clunkers', we know that they gave us the pink batts, and now they have an emissions intensity scheme, which Senator Wong herself has described as a 'mongrel' of a policy. They also have a 45 per cent emissions reduction target, which the Business Council of Australia has said is 'risky' and 'unnecessary,' and we know that our move is going to put downward pressure on prices. When the member for McMahon went on Sky TV with David Speers, he was asked about his energy policies and he was asked, 'What would be the impact on electricity prices?' to which he replied, 'Ah, well, no, no—no net impact to electricity prices.' Then David Speers, being the very good interviewer that he is, said, 'What about the impact to the budget?' This is what the member for McMahon said: 'And the, the—again, the electricity trading scheme—post, you know, it, it, it—where some people, where some—it cancels each other out, so yes.' So yes, Mr Speaker! We know that when the Labor Party were in government they doubled electricity prices. So, while the alternative Treasurer of this country might be unintelligible, we know what the Labor Party's track record is—and that is a less stable electricity system and higher prices for families and for businesses.