Thursday, 16 August 2018
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. Is the Prime Minister aware that the Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, the member for Hinkler, has refused to deny reports that he's considering resigning to protest against the Prime Minister's energy policy? Can the Prime Minister assure the House that no other members of his executive are considering resigning to protest against the Prime Minister and his energy policy?
I thank the honourable member for his question. He's raised the matter of energy, and he has the opportunity to stand up for lower electricity prices. He has the opportunity to support the National Energy Guarantee, which will contribute to a $550 reduction in the electricity bill of the average family in the National Electricity Market. So he knows that every single leading industry group, consumer groups, and even unions and experts are all supporting the National Energy Guarantee, because they know it will reduce energy prices. But there's a difference. On this side of the House, we want electricity prices to be lower than they are today, and they're starting to come down already. We've taken decisive action that has resulted in them coming down. Already, we've seen reductions in New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia, but there's more to be done.
However, on the Labor side, we know what they think. They want energy prices to be higher, and, of course, that's the natural consequence of a 50 per cent renewables target, but they're proud of it. The Labor Environment Action Network said, just a few days ago: 'Higher prices are not a market failure. They're proof of the market working well.' That's what Labor wants. I'm reminded, on the subject of the Labor Environment Action Network, of what Senator Keneally said in her first speech. She said that, 15 years ago, she and Jenny McAllister started the Labor Environment Action Network. She said—
Senator Keneally went on to say LEAN, the Labor Environment Action Network, had successfully campaigned within the party for a 50 per cent renewable energy target. Scott Morrison once described LEAN as an infiltration of radical activists within the Labor Party.
Mr Morrison interjecting—
The Treasurer confirms that that's exactly what he said, and he was right. 'A solar cell, if you will,' said Senator Keneally, and then, turning to her comrade Senator McAllister, she said, 'Now that we are both here, I guess the infiltration is complete.' It'll be complete if Labor could ever get a 50 per cent target and have the sign of high prices, because that, according to Labor, is a proof of the market working well.