House debates

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Questions without Notice


2:20 pm

Photo of Anne WebsterAnne Webster (Mallee, 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-McCormack government's economic recovery plan is backing Australian jobs and taking action to boost self-sufficiency by securing our sovereign fuel refining capability? Is the minister aware of any alternative policies?

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

Thank you to the member for Mallee for her strong focus on the fuel security required for the truckies, the tradies, the farmers and the commuters in her electorate and right across Australia.

Ms Madeleine King interjecting

We know how important liquid fuel security is, and that is why we have locked in our liquid fuel security in this country with a package which was recently announced.

Ms Madeleine King interjecting

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The member for Brand is warned!

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

That package will not only secure fuel supplies but also raise the quality of our fuels and put downward pressure on prices. That is what it will do. It has also secured the 1,250 jobs of the workers at the refineries both in Brisbane and in Geelong. I know the member for Bonner is strongly supportive of that. In return for the commitment that the refineries are making to stay in the market, they will receive a variable production payment, but only when they need it. It will ensure that we have access to those vital fuel supplies to keep Australia moving, even in the worst-case scenarios.

The ATA, the Australian Trucking Association, has come out strongly in favour of this—in fact, the ATA said, 'This is a big win for road users'—as has the FCAI and the Australian Automobile Association. The AWU's national secretary, Dan Walton, said that our package will 'save thousands of jobs both directly at the refineries and indirectly through jobs supported in the community'. We on this side are united in our focus on affordable and reliable energy for all Australians.

But I was asked about alternatives—and we're seeing those alternatives on the front pages of the papers today. The member for Shortland has led an extraordinary attack on one of his colleagues. He seems more interested in fighting his own colleagues than fighting for the blue-collar workers in his electorate. Rather than deal with the rot spreading inside his party, the Leader of the Opposition is sending out his bullies to heavy and intimidate his own members of parliament. It seems that, under his leadership, members on the other side of this place can't stand up for workers. Well, it is obvious why: we have unions who represent blue-collar workers lining up to support government policies.