Wednesday, 24 November 2021
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister said that batteries to store renewable energy are as useful as the Big Banana and the Big Prawn. Then he said that that was a complete misrepresentation. Given the Prime Minister is on tape calling the 'big battery' in South Australia as useful as a Big Banana and a Big Prawn, why is he pretending that he didn't?
Opposition members interjecting—
Thank you, Mr Speaker. I recall the comments I was making on that day. I was down in Adelaide, and I was talking about how the battery technology at that time, that large battery, would have been able to charge all the television sets in Adelaide for no more and wouldn't get you through one episode of Australia's Ninja Warrior. The point I was making was that what we need in this country is long-duration storage, which is why we are investing in projects like Snowy Hydro 2.0.
Of course we should invest in battery technology. It's part of our low-emissions technology plan to get us to net zero by 2050. But those opposite are kidding themselves if they think that is going to keep the aluminium smelters at Portland or at Tomago firing up. I'll tell you what's going to help those. What's going to help those, in particular, is the work that we've invested in through Snowy Hydro to ensure there's a gas-fired power plant at Kurri Kurri. And do you know who's opposed to that in the Hunter? The Labor Party—the Labor Party and the Greens working together to work against Australians having affordable, reliable power. They don't want to see the gas; they want to turn the gas off on Australian industry.
Yes, Mr Speaker, on direct relevance. There was nothing asked about alternative policies. I don't see why we have to rise each time. The Prime Minister knows that this is not directly relevant to the question, and he does it to defy every single time.
I was asked about my comments on that day, and I am providing the context of the comments on that day. The context of those comments on that day was that battery storage was not at a scale—and, frankly, is still not at a scale—that competes with long-duration storage like projects like Snowy 2.0. Those sorts of battery projects are not at a level yet, but we must invest in them so we can rely on them for the heavy industry that this country needs. That is what our policy is based on.
We have a policy which is about reducing emissions. It's about technology, not taxes. It's about choices, not mandates. It's about ensuring we're investing in a portfolio of technologies which mean we can get those costs down to meet those important targets. It's about ensuring that we have reliable and affordable power. That's why we are investing in gas. That's why we are keeping the gas on. Those opposite really don't like these policies. They've been attacking our policies. They've been seeking to mock the policy. If you don't like 'technology, not taxes', it means you need taxes. That's what it means—taxes, taxes, taxes. (Time expired)