Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Tuesday, 12 September 2017
Page: 10054


Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (15:03): My question is to the Prime Minister. How can the government expect industry to decide on new generators if the government can't even decide on a clean energy target?

Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (15:03): The real challenge to the reliability of the energy system is the failure of the current market system to take into account the importance of having base-load power. That is the fundamental problem that we face. Honourable members opposite can persist in ignoring the very obvious failure of their years in government and their approach to energy policy. They were focused on replacing high-emission base-load power with low-emission power that was not base load, the consequences being that the electricity system has become less stable, less reliable and much more dependent on gas. That, coupled with Labor's failure on gas exports, resulted in a higher price of gas and that is what has driven both instability and unaffordability. Now, we're correcting those. It takes time to deal with them. We've had good results already with gas. We're having good results already on retail prices. We're making long-term investments with Snowy Hydro—

The SPEAKER: The Prime Minister will resume his seat. The Leader of the Opposition on a point of order.

Mr Shorten: A point of order on relevance. Whatever happened to the clean energy target, Prime Minister?

The SPEAKER: The Leader of the Opposition will resume his seat. The Prime Minister has the call.

Mr TURNBULL: The clean energy target was proposed by Alan Finkel in his report, and 49 recommendations of that have already been accepted and are being worked through by the relevant energy minister's council. We have the 50th recommendation under consideration.

I'll be very plain with all honourable members: we need to make sure that we get the energy market right this time, because there has been a consistent failure in policy. We need to ensure that the energy market design provides a suitable framework for investment that doesn't simply get new generation but which gets generation of the right kind, because you have to keep the lights on and you have to ensure that people can afford to pay to keep the lights on. That is where Labor has failed. Of course, we will meet our international emission reduction obligations. We're approaching this with a deliberation and a care that was utterly lacking on the part of Labor, when they failed.

Opposition members interjecting

Mr TURNBULL: They can laugh as much as they like, but I'll tell you what: their constituents aren't laughing when they can't pay for Blackout Bill.

The SPEAKER: I'll just remind the Prime Minister to refer to members by their correct titles.