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Thursday, 9 February 2017
Page: 530

Economy


Mr RAMSEY (GreyGovernment Whip) (14:07): My question is to the Prime Minister. Will the Prime Minister update the House on how the government's energy and childcare policies are backing hardworking Australians and supporting family budgets, including in my electorate of Grey?


Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:07): I thank the honourable member for his question. I recall just a few weeks ago our visit to Port Lincoln, a city which has got to the point where, because of the unreliability of electricity in South Australia, businesses are investing millions of dollars in back-up generators. That is the great achievement of the Labor Party's energy policy in South Australia—back-up generators. As one of the honourable member's constituents said, 'We may as well be operating in a Third World country, the electricity is so unreliable.' We stand for secure, affordable electricity. We stand for policies that deliver on our emission reduction targets. And we believe that every party and every leader, or would-be leader, must have a commitment to delivering energy security, because it is the foundation of all of the opportunities for households, for businesses, for families and for employment.

The truth is that the Labor Party stands today for higher power bills and less available and less affordable childcare. That is their position. That is where they have staked their ground. They are opposing our childcare reforms; reforms which will make childcare more affordable, more available and, above all, more affordable for the families on the lowest incomes. So more mums will be able to make that balance, get out into the workplace and stay in the workplace. As one of the mothers said to me yesterday, 'These reforms will enable me to work an extra day. These will enable me to keep more of my after-tax income.' This is a huge opportunity. It builds on our commitment to provide security.

Ms Plibersek interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Sydney will cease interjecting.

Mr TURNBULL: But we see none of that from the Labor Party; we just see ideology. It was 41 degrees in South Australia yesterday—41 degrees—and all of the wind turbines were providing 2½ per cent of the state's electricity. And you know what, Mr Speaker? That is what they do during a heatwave. The heatwave comes, the wind drops and there is no wind power. So what was South Australia doing? It was sucking brown-coal energy from Victoria. The most emissions-intensive energy in Australia was being hauled across the interconnector, stretching it to capacity. What a triumph of ideology over common sense!

Mr Champion interjecting

Ms Butler interjecting

Mr TURNBULL: The Labor Party stand for higher electricity prices, less reliable electricity, less affordable child care and less available child care. They have abandoned Australian families, just as the Leader of the Opposition, again and again, abandoned the members of his union.

The SPEAKER: The member for Wakefield and the member for Griffith were interjecting continuously. They are warned. I wanted to make sure they heard the warning. The member for Sydney has been, as well, and I am cautioning her as well.