Senate debates

Monday, 27 November 2023

Regulations and Determinations

Competition and Consumer (Gas Market Code) Regulations 2023; Disallowance

4:24 pm

Photo of Hollie HughesHollie Hughes (NSW, Liberal Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy) Share this | Hansard source

What we're seeing today is when the Left get together with the crazy far left, because neither have any credibility when it comes to this topic. The fact that the Greens just gave us a lecture about gas projects being built on arable farmland, and the destruction of Indigenous cultural heritage sites, while they consistently vote against any inquiry into transmission lines are going to do exactly those things—destroy arable farmland and destroy cultural Indigenous sites. But no, no, no—in the pyramid of the Greens and the pyramid of the far left, renewable energy is the very top. Whales, koalas and feeding anyone is way down the bottom! But we know their pyramid of priorities is all about solar and wind and those new transmission lines, destroying farmland, destroying communities and destroying Indigenous cultural heritage sites. So do not come in here and admonish anyone for supporting new gas mines that are going to provide energy and security for this country—including our export markets, which pay for all of these little pie-in-the-sky flights of fancy you negotiate with your mates in the government—when you are destroying farmland and you are destroying cultural Indigenous heritage sites all in the name of chasing pipedreams of new transmission lines across this country, decimating communities in rural and remote Australia, all of whom have the sense not to vote for anyone that sits on that side of the chamber. It's absolutely disgraceful behaviour.

We on this side will not be supporting Greens disallowance motion today. They just want to attack any exemptions from the code and, ultimately, shut the gas industry down. They'd have us all living in trees if they had their way! Maybe they can stop with their business-class fights and their Comcars every time they come to parliament—they can ride their electric bikes. Maybe they should live by what they preach to everybody else.

To put it on the record, the coalition does not support this Labor government's continuing attacks on the gas sector. This government has put Australia's natural gas market under extreme pressure with their heavy-handed interventions and policies that are harming investment but in no way increasing supply. We on this side have repeatedly warned the government of the long-term impacts of their policies over the past 15 months. We've called on the government to cease their constant interventions. I heard them referred to as bandaids—little sugar hits on energy bills, doing nothing to help Australian families facing real and ever-increasing energy bills because of their incompetence to manage the energy market. Their interventions are distorting the market and continue to cause more problems. We know that we need around 30 per cent more gas by 2050. We also know that this government is putting more money into the Environmental Defenders Office. That's great! That's really well done! One of my favourites—I miss him desperately—the former member for Hunter, Mr Joel Fitzgibbon, came out saying exactly the same: that those opposite have lost the plot by funding the EDO.


No comments