House debates

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Questions without Notice


2:11 pm

Photo of Lucy WicksLucy Wicks (Robertson, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. Will the Prime Minister outline to the House how the Morrison government is securing Australia's energy future by keeping the lights on, reducing power prices and meeting our emission reduction commitments? Is the Prime Minister aware of any alternative approaches?

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

The member for Robertson wants to keep the lights on, like every member of this House. The member for Robertson wants to ensure that we don't put taxes on people, that we don't drive up their electricity prices and that we ensure there is reliability in our grid. She also shares the government's passion and commitment to ensuring we meet our emissions reduction targets, those targets that, indeed, we took to the last election to the Australian people, and the plan that would see us achieve them. And, as the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction has reminded the House recently, electricity prices in the past year are down 3½ per cent.

We are the world leaders in renewable energy, with 2.2 million Australian households having rooftop solar panels—the highest rate of uptake in the world. Installed renewable capacity increased by 24 per cent over 2018. Our previous record in renewable generation, in 2019, was up 20 per cent on 2018 levels and is forecast to grow by a further 26 per cent in 2020.

Gas is obviously a critical player in the future of our energy needs in this country, and that's why we were able to strike a deal with the New South Wales government which ensures we're getting the gas from underneath our feet—some 70 petajoules—which will increase the supply of gas alone in New South Wales by around 50 per cent. We're getting the gas. There's 1.4 billion in Snowy 2.0, then there are the Battery of the Nation projects and a billion dollars for the Grid Reliability Fund. We are technology-agnostic about these issues. We're supporting, through Battery of the Nation, the Beetaloo gas project, the CopperString transmission program, and the Collinsville project for new HELE coal and how that applies to a feasibility study.

We on this side of the House have no policy allergies to energy production. But on that side, their energy policies are coughing and sneezing and spluttering all over the place. They are unable to even nominate what their emissions target alternative is for 2030. The member for Hunter has a posse position. The member for Sydney has a position. Who knows what the each-way position is of the Leader of the Opposition.

They have no policy when it comes to sustainable and reliable energy for this nation's future. They are riven with division on this question. The alternative—and what had been pursued by the government—is power generation that can be relied upon to reduce electricity prices, to support industry and manufacturing jobs, and to support industry right across this country, while the opposition— (Time expired)