House debates

Wednesday, 16 February 2022

Questions without Notice


3:35 pm

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

I thank the member for Lindsay for her question and for her passionate advocacy for manufacturing in her electorate. Her electorate has a strong network of manufacturers that rely on affordable, reliable energy. Crucial to that is gas. Gas provides 42 per cent of the energy requirement for manufacturers in this country. It also is a critical industrial feedstock for products like urea, as we heard earlier today, and it also provides the firming necessary for the record level of investment we're seeing in renewables in this country. Families and small businesses rely on that gas for hot water, heating and cooking.

But, if supply of gas is short, prices go up. You only have to look at what's happening around the world to see that. We've seen tensions within Europe that we've talked about today, and we've seen underinvestment in gas in Europe in particular. That has driven up prices. Indeed, the UK saw the highest gas price it has ever seen—$50 a gigajoule in December last year—and household energy prices have gone up in response to that. But that's not been our experience in this country. As the ACCC noted in its report on its latest gas inquiry, our gas prices have been sitting at as little as 25 per cent of the price that you're seeing in other countries. That's 75 per cent lower than the prices in Asia and Europe. Central to that is the supply that we've seen coming on, ensuring that our manufacturers and other customers have Australian gas working for all Australians.

I am asked about alternative approaches and risks to our approach. The greatest risk is a Labor-Greens partnership, because the Greens have made it very clear that they will demand a gas ban—a ban on new gas projects—in return for passing Labor's climate legislation. Labor can protest as much as it likes about this, but we've heard about this from the member for McMahon, who has described the Greens as 'a party that you can sit down and discuss policies with'. He says, 'We've done that,' but he goes on to say, 'In the event that the Greens hold the balance of power, then of course we'd work in that arrangement.' This morning he went further and he said that supply of gas and the gas-fired recovery is nonsense. This is further proof that Labor has lost touch with the blue-collar workers in manufacturing in this country. We will always be their supporters.

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

Mr Speaker, given that it's almost 20 to four, I ask that further questions be placed on the Notice Paper.