Wednesday, 31 May 2017
Questions without Notice
The honourable member is referring to the budget measure that he incorporated in his own election policy. Those are savings that the Labor Party appropriated themselves. Compensation for a tax that is no longer present is being removed for new entrants. It is an equitable and balanced budget saving and it represents a fair approach that the Labor Party appropriated themselves in the lead-up to the last election. That is the fact.
The Labor Party has done more than anybody to contribute to the rapid increase in wholesale electricity prices. We have seen some extraordinary conduct by the Labor Party. The member for Port Adelaide is over there drawing attention to himself. He is a representative of the state that managed to create a situation where it had a wind resource that at any given time could contribute more than 100 per cent of the state's electricity demand or zero per cent, in which case it would rely instead on a long extension cord to the Latrobe Valley in Victoria. This is a political party that has put a prohibition on gas exploration and development in the state of Victoria—the state that has the largest demand for industrial gas has put a ban not just on unconventional gas exploration and not just on fracking but also on conventional gas exploration. The biggest driver in very recent times of the increase in wholesale electricity prices, as all honourable members know, has been the increase in gas prices, driven by a shortage of supply. It was under the Labor government that the big deals were done to export gas from Queensland without any thought to domestic gas security.
Presented with this problem, we saw from the Labor government a combination of ideology and complacency—Left ideology and Labor complacency. What we have done is act, and we have put in place the measures that will ensure that the Australian domestic gas market will be fully supplied. We have already seen reductions in the netback price at Wallumbilla. I am sure the honourable member for Port Adelaide is aware of that. We have seen some reductions, we have seen some effect, and we are determined to ensure that domestic supply for the east coast gas market is adequate. We have taken the tough decisions to ensure that it is—yet again cleaning up the energy mess left by the Labor Party.