Wednesday, 14 February 2018
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) electricity prices have gone up 12.4 per cent from December 2016 to December 2017 and are too high,
(ii) the companies that own our electricity networks, including those registered in the Cayman Islands, have made $27.5 billion profit over the last 4 years, which is pushing up prices, and
(iii) the deregulation of electricity prices has seen them skyrocket, so that in Victoria up to 30 per cent of a household's bill is for retailers profits alone, according to the Grattan Institute;
(b) agrees with Victorian Premier Mr Daniel Andrews that electricity should never have been privatised; and
(c) calls on the Government to start bringing the electricity network back into public hands and to take all steps to reregulate electricity prices.
This is just another desperate attempt by the Greens to be relevant in the energy debate. Labor agrees with the concerns identified in the motion and that there's no doubt that the Liberals' record of privatisation failed to deliver lower prices and all the other things the Liberals said it would. But Australia needs comprehensive energy market reform to support the uptake of renewables with storage and to support a national strategic approach to new transmission investment. That's what Labor will actually deliver. The Greens' promise to nationalise electricity transmission is just another example of a Greens announcement that's all sound and fury but signifies nothing but politics and has no substance. Labor has a plan to deliver 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030 to modernise the energy system and deliver a strategic national plan to new transmission investment. We're focused on delivering for the Australian people and won't be distracted by Greens political stunts and thought bubbles.