Senate debates

Thursday, 15 December 2022


Days and Hours of Meeting

1:05 pm

Photo of Katy GallagherKaty Gallagher (ACT, Australian Labor Party, Minister for the Public Service) Share this | Hansard source

What you're seeing from this government, responding through this legislative reform package today, is a responsible government that has sat down and worked across the table with industry, with different stakeholders and with state and territory governments to provide some urgent solutions with a longer-term reform package, working across the parliament, talking to different senators and members of parliament about the right thing to do to bring forward this package, and you over there don't even want to debate it. You're not even going to give leave for us to bring this bill forward to debate it today.

We're going to see this. I can predict that over the next few hours we are going to have all the process arguments in the world raised. We're going to have, 'Oh, we didn't get this and we didn't get that.' But they will avoid the fact that, when they vote in opposition to this bill, they will be voting for higher power prices and for no cost-of-living relief for households and for business. That is what you will be voting for if you choose to continue on this path today.

This is an urgent sitting. It is urgent to deal with this to avoid the big price increases. Twenty-two failed energy policies—that is your record, and now you're going to try and stop us implementing one here today. That is what you're all about: opposition and refusing to deal with the challenges.

Head in the sand, Senator McGrath—that's where you like it. Avoid the issues. Don't deal with them. Don't support households. Don't support industry. don't support business. That is the position that you are taking today.

Well, over here we want to work with the parliament. We want to provide solutions. We want to work with Australian businesses and manufacturers. We want to take the pressure off households. We want to deal with the challenges that we're seeing—the energy crisis that we inherited from you—and you can't hide and avoid this decision today. No matter how hard you try, you are going to vote, and you're going to be on the wrong side of history.


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