House debates

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Questions without Notice


2:17 pm

Photo of Tanya PlibersekTanya Plibersek (Sydney, Australian Labor Party, Deputy Leader of the Opposition) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. Can the Prime Minister confirm reports he held crisis talks with government MPs last night in a bid to stop them voting against his energy policy? Given the Prime Minister has failed to appease his internal enemies by trading his convictions on climate change for new coal-fired power stations, what else is he planning to give up to the right wing of his party in order to keep his job?

2:18 pm

Photo of Malcolm TurnbullMalcolm Turnbull (Wentworth, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the honourable member for her question. It's the honourable member and her colleagues opposite that have given up on Australian families, because it's the Labor Party that believes it's a good thing to have higher energy prices. It's the Labor Party that says higher prices mean the market is working. Well, it's certainly not working for Australian families. It is the Labor Party that is refusing and failing to support the National Energy Guarantee, which will bring down power prices. It is part of a suite of measures that we have already deployed, which is getting Australians a better deal on electricity. It's why we are seeing retail prices, retail bills, falling. Families are already paying less for electricity. We want to keep that trend, that momentum, going, and the National Energy Guarantee is part of that.

The Labor Party has lots of difficult questions to deal with, whether they be about preselections, releasing lawyers' reports, complex technical matters, or canoeing up the Tarkine and doing a little bit of real estate spotting while doing that. There are all of those challenging problems—geographical, technological, psephological. Here's one straightforward question: do you want Australians to pay less for electricity? Do you want Australians to have lower bills? We do. That's our commitment to the National Energy Guarantee. And Labor, if it's fair dinkum about families, should back it and stop worshipping, with the LEAN, the proposition that higher electricity prices are somehow or other a good thing.

Opposition Members:

Opposition members interjecting

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The member for Griffith is warned. The member for McEwen has already been warned. He won't interject again if he wishes to stay for the rest of question time.