Thursday, 25 February 2021
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction. Will the minister please update the House on how the Morrison government's focus on and commitment to affordable and reliable energy is supporting families and businesses as we chart our way out of the COVID-19 recession?
I thank the member for Moncrieff for her question and I acknowledge the many years she's spent helping small businesses in her region and elsewhere to grow and to employ people. She knows a lot about doing that. She knows that affordable, reliable energy is absolutely essential for small businesses. The 30,000 small businesses across the Gold Coast rely on affordable, reliable energy. At no time is it more important than now to have access to that affordability. That is why we are supporting community groups and businesses through our energy efficiency program that allows them to invest in equipment and upgrades to reduce their energy bills and bring down emissions at the same time. That includes businesses like Espresso Bonsai cafe in Surfers Paradise and Nobby Beach Holiday Village, businesses that were seriously impacted by what happened to tourism on the Gold Coast because of COVID-19.
All of this builds on actions that we've taken to keep energy companies accountable through the big stick legislation, the ban we put on sneaky late payment fees and the introduction of price caps for families and small businesses. Report after report is telling us that our plan is working. There have been eight consecutive quarters of year-on-year CPI price reductions in electricity. Hundreds of thousands of families and businesses across Australia have benefited from the default market offer and the price caps we have put in place. That includes, for instance, that a family in Highland Park is up to $794 a year better off as a result of those price caps. A cafe in Surfers Paradise is $6,200 a year better off. A bakery in Broadbeach Waters is $4,400 a year better off as a result of that reform.
But there are better deals than that available, as the member for Moncrieff knows. All you have to do is go onto the Energy Made Easy website and you can compare offers and get the best possible plan based on your historical usage. I know the SPAR supermarket on Chevron Island has been shopping around. It found significant savings. This is all about the delivering Australians the affordable, reliable energy they deserve at a critical time when we need them to be as competitive as possible, bringing down their energy bills as we bring down emissions.