Thursday, 25 November 2021
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction. Will the minister update the House on how the Morrison government is delivering the secure, affordable, reliable energy that families and businesses in my electorate of Longman rely on to reduce the pressure on their cost of living? Is the minister aware of any alternative approaches?
I thank the member for Longman for his question. As someone who was a small-business owner before coming into this place, he knows the enormous importance of affordable, reliable power for small businesses. He knows the key to delivering that affordable, reliable electricity is focusing on the customer, and that's exactly what we have been doing in recent years.
We put in place the 'big stick' legislation, which those opposite oppose, and we subsequently saw 19 consecutive months of wholesale price reductions. We introduced a price cap on electricity prices for those who aren't able to shop around. As a result of that, we saw prices come down, on average, by $780 for a household and over $3,100 for a small business. We've seen gaps in the market that we've filled—2,000 megawatts in Snowy 2.0 and over 650 megawatts at Kurri Kurri in the Hunter Valley, which those opposite opposed as well. Under our government we have seen average household prices, which make up a third of the electricity bill, down more than 22 per cent in the last 12 months and more than 63 per cent in the last two years. The ABS CPI data tells us we have seen 11 consecutive quarters of retail price reductions. And today we see a report from the AEMC that tells us we can expect another six per cent retail price reduction in the coming years. This is all about putting customers ahead of other interests.
I am asked about alternative approaches. When those opposite were last in government they put in place an alternative approach, and it saw a doubling of electricity prices. Every quarter those opposite were in power, the price went up, according to the ABS—every single quarter. Those opposite are opposing the job-creating investments in the Hunter Valley. They opposed, many times over, the big stick legislation. There's one thing you can be absolutely sure of: you will pay more for electricity under Labor than under this side of the parliament. We will always stand up for Australians ahead of other interests. Those opposite won't. We fight every day for a fair deal for Australians on electricity prices.