Thursday, 13 February 2020
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction. Will the minister outline to the House the importance of the Morrison government's consistent beliefs and policy approach around energy investment? Is the minister aware of the consequences of any alternative approaches?
I thank the member for her question and I acknowledge the extraordinary work she is doing in her electorate with clean technology entrepreneurs, who are bringing forward products and services to reduce emissions and reduce the cost of electricity across Australia and across the world.
We are focused on outcomes—lowering prices, keeping the lights on and bringing down emissions while keeping our economy strong. That means doing all this without imposing a carbon tax, without driving up electricity prices and without hurting critical sectors that are the backbone of Australia, like agriculture, mining and manufacturing. Our approach to this is technology neutral, because we are focused on the outcomes.
We are getting on with getting more gas into critical markets like New South Wales. We are removing barriers to coal at places like Mt Piper—one of the newest and most flexible coal-fired generators in the country. We've put a billion dollars into our Grid Reliability Fund. We are supporting record levels of investment in renewable energy generation, and we're a world leader in renewable energy generation. We are investing in pumped hydro projects like Snowy, Battery of the Nation and Marinus Link. We are also a world leader in energy efficiency and household solar, and we've backed the hydrogen sector with a commitment of over $500 million. And we are bringing all of this together with our technology investment roadmap. Our approach is balanced, sensible and technology neutral—and we have no policy allergies.
But the member for Higgins asked me if there was another approach, and there is. It's called 'technology by town'. When it comes to Labor, when they are in St Kilda, it's solar; when they are in Balmain, it's batteries; and when they are in Werribee, it's wind. But in Kingston, at the Otis Dining Hall, it's coal—it's all coal. We don't do technology by town. We'll support all technology that drives down the price of electricity, that keeps the lights on and that brings down emissions.