Monday, 22 February 2021
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction. Will the minister outline to the House how the Morrison government's approach to ensuring that families and businesses have access to affordable and reliable energy is helping to chart an Australian way out of the COVID-19 recession?
I thank the member for Longman for his question, and I pay tribute to his two decades working in small businesses before he came into this place. That means he's superbly well qualified to represent 16,000 small businesses in his electorate. Those 16,000 small businesses are the backbone of the economy in his electorate, and he knows better than most that affordable, reliable energy is central to their success and prosperity in the years to come, and, importantly, it's central to the comeback from the COVID-19 recession for businesses like those.
Report after report is now telling us that our plan for affordable, reliable energy is working. We've now seen 17 months in a row of wholesale price reductions, with the lowest wholesale prices for many, many years, and they're being passed through to consumers. We've seen over the last two years eight consecutive quarters of year-on-year CPI price reductions, with retail electricity prices down 9.2 per cent in the last year alone. That's a 9.2 per cent reduction in just one year, and that means now is a superb time to be shopping around. We encourage electricity consumers to get onto the Energy Made Easy website and upload their historical usage. You'll find a plan that is suited to you to get your prices down.
Not everyone is in a position to do that, and that's why we established the default market offer. That's a price cap for those who aren't in a position to be able to negotiate a better deal, and that default market offer is seeing very significant savings for small businesses and families across Australia, including in the member's electorate. In the electorate of Longman, a hairdresser in Caboolture would see, under the default market offer, $4,100 in savings for typical usages; a family in Morayfield could be up to $794 per year better off on typical usage; a cafe in Burpengary could be $6,200 a year better off; and a bakery on Bribie Island could be $4,400 a year better off. Lower electricity prices mean more money in the pockets of Australian households and businesses. Those businesses will then be in a position to invest and employ as we come out of the COVID-19 recession. We're getting on with the job of securing affordable, reliable energy for all hardworking Australians.