Wednesday, 14 November 2018
Select Committee into Fair Dinkum Power; Reference
I seek leave to amend general business notice of motion No. 1199, standing in my name for today, relating to the establishment of a select committee. I understand the amendments have been circulated. It's simply the tightening up of some wording.
I move the motion as amended:
(1) That a select committee, to be known as the Select Committee into Fair Dinkum Power, be established on 28 November 2018, to inquire into and report on 30 June 2019, on the following matters:
(a) the potential for empowering energy consumers to play a more important role in the National Electricity Market, through providing diverse services:
(i) energy generation,
(ii) demand response and energy efficiency,
(iii) grid stability and reliability services,
(iv) alternatives to conventional network investment, and
(v) peer-to-peer trading between households and businesses;
(b) the potential for these services to deliver lower energy costs and increased energy reliability;
(c) the changing role of retailers in the National Electricity Market in light of the growing empowerment of consumers;
(d) the impacts of privatisation;
(e) regulatory reforms which would empower energy consumers, including the following key groups:
(i) households, including low income households and renters,
(iii) small businesses, and
(iv) major energy users;
(f) the likely long-term impacts, including of emissions, reliability and stability, of energy consumers playing a larger role; and
(g) any other related matters.
(2) That the committee consist of seven senators: two nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate, two nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, one nominated by the Leader of the Australian Greens, and two nominated by minority groups and independent senators.
(a) participating members may be appointed to the committee on the nomination of the Leader of the Government in the Senate, the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, the Leader of the Australian Greens or any minority party or independent senator;
(b) participating members may participate in hearings of evidence and deliberations of the committee, and have all the rights of members of the committee, but may not vote on any questions before the committee; and
(c) a participating member shall be taken to be a member of the committee for the purpose of forming a quorum of the committee if a majority of members of the committee is not present.
(4) That the committee may proceed to the dispatch of business notwithstanding that not all members have been duly nominated and appointed, and notwithstanding any vacancy.
(5) That the committee elect as chair a member nominated by the Leader of the Australian Greens and, as deputy chair, a member nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate.
(6) That the deputy chair shall act as chair when the chair is absent from a meeting of the committee or the position of chair is temporarily vacant.
(7) That the chair, or the deputy chair when acting as chair, may appoint another member of the committee to act as chair during the temporary absence of both the chair and deputy chair at a meeting of the committee.
(8) That, in the event of an equally divided vote, the chair, or the deputy chair when acting as chair, has a casting vote.
(9) That the committee have power to send for and examine persons and documents, to move from place to place, to sit in public or in private, notwithstanding any prorogation of the Parliament or dissolution of the House of Representatives, and have leave to report from time to time its proceedings, the evidence taken and such interim recommendations as it may deem fit.
(10) That the committee be provided with all necessary staff, facilities and resources and be empowered to appoint persons with specialist knowledge for the purposes of the committee with the approval of the President of the Senate.
(11) That the committee be empowered to print from day to day such documents and evidence as may be ordered by it, and a daily Hansard be published of such proceedings as take place in public.
The Centre Alliance will not be supporting this reference. There've been more inquiries than I can list in a one-minute statement. But, to give you an idea, we've had the Finkel review, we've had the ACCC review, we've had a Senate select committee into the resilience of electricity infrastructure in a warming world, chaired by Senator Hanson-Young, we've had the numerous reports leading to the final detailed design for the National Energy Guarantee by the Energy Security Board, we've had the House Standing Committee on the Environment and Energy doing an inquiry into the modernising of Australia's electricity grid and we've had the AEMC and the Climate Change Authority doing an inquiry into delivering affordable, secure and lower emissions power, and I've got a number of others here. We just can't see the value for money in the conduct of another inquiry. What will it educe that has not already been educed? We don't need a further inquiry into electricity; we actually just need some action.