House debates

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Questions without Notice

Energy: Gas

2:30 pm

Photo of Phillip ThompsonPhillip Thompson (Herbert, Liberal National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction. Will the minister outline to the House how the Morrison government's plan for a gas led recovery will provide reliable, secure and affordable energy for all Australians as we recover from the COVID-19 recession? Is the minister aware of any alternative approaches?

Photo of Angus TaylorAngus Taylor (Hume, Liberal Party, Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Herbert for his question, for his extraordinary service and sacrifice to this nation and for his focus on affordable, reliable energy for his constituents and for all Australians. He knows that Australia's competitive advantage has always relied on affordable, reliable energy, and gas will be central to our ongoing economic recovery. We want to see Australian gas working for all Australians. That means unlocking supply, it means investment in efficient transport and pipelines, and it means empowering customers to get access to internationally competitive prices. We're building a robust and competitive gas industry that will ensure both suppliers and customers prosper.

As I said earlier, just last week in the Beetaloo Basin I saw a world-class resource that offers extraordinary opportunity for people in the Top End—for the hardworking Australians that live in and around Darwin and the Northern Territory. That's why we're supporting development of the Beetaloo and other basins through our $28 million strategic basin plan. But don't take my word for it about our gas plan. Manufacturing Australia said of our gas plan, 'It means that we won't have to choose between cutting emissions, lowering gas prices and jobs.'

The truth is there are alternative approaches, but I have no idea what the approach is of those opposite, because they don't have a plan. On the one hand, you have LEAN, led by the members for Hindmarsh and Shortland, who are running around the countryside supporting the Greens, in the words of Peter Jordan at the CFMMEU. LEAN's submission to Labor's electoral review confirms what we all suspected: they are against development in the Beetaloo Basin. They are against it because it hurts their preference deal with the Greens. Team LEAN are more interested in securing Green preferences than the jobs of hardworking Australians.

On the other side, we have team Otis, led by the member for Hunter, who has exposed LEAN's fundamentalism—their plans to rip up gas cookers, heaters and ovens. The member for Hunter loves gas. He's spot on when he says the quickest way to create jobs is to do it through gas fired generation. The Leader of the Opposition is hoping that if he hides for long enough this will all go away—that he won't have to make choices between blue-collar workers and his Green Left mates.

While they're fighting amongst themselves, we're getting on with delivering more affordable, reliable—(Time expired)