Wednesday, 25 October 2017
Questions without Notice
My question is for the Minister for the Environment and Energy. Will the minister update the House on the government's action to guarantee affordable and reliable energy for hardworking Australians and businesses, including in my electorate of Dunkley? How does this compare to the risks associated with alternative approaches?
I thank the member for Dunkley for his question. I know that he's been deeply engaged with his constituents on the energy issue, and he was pretty pleased to receive contact recently from Denton, who said to him that he was initially quite sceptical of the ability to contact your retailer and get a better deal, but he did so, and, as a result, he got a 29 per cent discount on his gas and a 46 per cent discount on his electricity—a bit like the retired couple in Sydney with a $1,500 bill, who got, as a result of contacting their retailer, a $265 saving; a bit like the family in Brisbane who had a $2,800 bill, contacted their retailer and got a $630 saving; a bit like the three students living in St Kilda who, on their $1,430 bill, saved over $230. So Denton from Dunkley is like hundreds of thousands of Australians who are benefiting from the government's intervention in the energy market to get a better deal.
We know that this builds on the National Energy Guarantee, which will see savings for Australians. That has been widely accepted and widely praised by a whole range of sectors and a whole range of industry representatives. But all those savings, all those gains, will be lost if those opposite get their chance in government, because we know, from modelling that was reported yesterday, that—under the Labor Party's emissions intensity scheme, which the member for McMahon confirmed this morning is still their policy—families across Australia will be, on average, $300 worse off a year, because they won't be getting the saving from the National Energy Guarantee and they'll be getting the added costs of the emissions intensity scheme.
It's understandable if you're a little bit confused by the Labor Party's policy: the CPRS one day; ETS; carbon tax; cash for clunkers; citizens' assembly; EIS; even the CET. So I was a bit surprised to see, yesterday, the member for Port Adelaide do an interview, and, when he was asked about the Labor Party's policy, say that the Labor Party has been 'the one consistency' in this debate on policy—'the one consistency'! Then, four questions later, in the same interview, the member for Port Adelaide said, 'We've shifted our position twice in the last 12 months'. Forget about holding a position from lunchtime to Lateline; the member for Port Adelaide can't even hold the same position in the one interview.
When it comes to reliable and affordable power, the only way forward is the National Energy Guarantee. And it's time the Labor Party got on board.