Wednesday, 26 February 2020
At the request of Senators Watt, Green and Chisholm, I move:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that the Leader of the Liberal National Party in the Queensland Parliament, Mrs Deb Frecklington, has promised to require government-owned energy companies to invest in renewable energy generation;
(b) supports increased investment in renewable power as the cheapest and cleanest means of supplying our future energy needs; and
(c) calls on the Federal Liberal National Party to support further investment in renewables.
The government notes this motion selectively quotes from the LNP's election policy. In particular, the motion: (1) ignores the objective of Queensland LNP's policy to get the balance right between base-load energy and renewable energy; (2) ignores the criticism of the Queensland Labor government using electricity as a secret tax and thereby hurting Queensland's vulnerable pensioners on fixed incomes; (3) ignores the call to introduce retail competition into regional electricity markets to promote competition and to drive down prices; and (4) ignores the Queensland LNP's most recent characterisation of the ALP's 2050 net zero emissions policy as a destroyer of jobs in regional Queensland and a hammer blow to Queensland's agriculture industry.
We will oppose this because Australians are paying record electricity prices, risking blackouts, buying batteries and synchronous condensers, building new multibillion dollar interconnectors, losing companies overseas and suffering voltage spikes. We are playing chicken with our smelters and party games with peak smart timers and extra domestic circuits so that electricity companies can manage our pool pumps and air-conditioners. They are the words of Joanne Nova, who has done a lot of work on this. Senator Watt, Annastacia Palaszczuk, Jackie Trad and Deb Frecklington all want to destroy the last stable east coast electricity grid and supply network. We are sending our top quality coal overseas for competitors to use and we are raising our electricity prices and driving our industry overseas. This is insane.