Tuesday, 13 June 2017
Questions without Notice
Government members interjecting—
My question is to the Prime Minister. Under this Liberal government, wholesale electricity prices have doubled, pollution is up and jobs in renewable energy are down, so will the government commit to working with Labor through the Finkel report to address this massive policy failure?
I thank the honourable member for his question. The honourable member's party has more than anyone contributed to the rise in electricity prices across Australia. The Labor Party's recklessness is consistent across every level of government. We have seen the extraordinary state of affairs in South Australia—the home state of the shadow energy minister—where, without any regard for planning, for storage or for backup, and without any regard for economics or engineering but with every regard for ideology and politics, the Labor government has allowed that state to have nearly half of its generation capacity come from wind, capable of generating all of the state's electricity one minute and none the next. The consequence has been the least reliable and the most expensive electricity in Australia. My government is setting out one step after another to ensure that it delivers secure and reliable and affordable electricity. What is Labor's plan? Unrealistic targets, 50 per cent reductions in emissions—
Opposition members interjecting—
They are cheering! They cheer that, Mr Speaker. They have no idea of how to get there, no idea of how to pay for it, no idea of how to design it. The Labor Party left the engineering and the economics at the door and attacked Australia's energy system armed with only politics and partisanship. They have no plan at all.
The honourable member asked about gas prices. Since I announced our plan, our determination, our commitment, to limit exports from the east coast until domestic supply was assured—since I announced that policy, that commitment—we have seen a fall in wholesale gas prices on the east coast. We have already arrested the rapid rise in prices on the east coast which was being driven by a shortage of supply. We took a tough decision quickly, responding to the problem. What is the long-term answer? It is more gas. Who stands in the way of more gas? The Labor government of Victoria, and none more so. There are masses of gas. They are sitting on a huge amount of gas in Victoria but are refusing to do anything to exploit it. We have a plan founded on economics and engineering. Ideology and politics, Labor's way, have got us to the state of affairs we are in now. (Time expired)