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Tuesday, 7 February 2017
Page: 43

Economy


Mr LLEW O'BRIEN (Wide Bay) (14:39): My question is to the Prime Minister. Will the Prime Minister advise the House what the government is doing to support the household and small business budget? How will the government's energy policies deliver lower power prices?


Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:39): I thank the honourable member for his question. This is the reality that we face: thanks to a failure of policy by state Labor governments over many years, we have a situation where, without any regard to the consequences for the stability of the grid or the affordability of electricity, Labor governments—and would-be governments in the case of the honourable member's opposition—have pursued utterly unrealistic, unaffordable renewables targets without giving any thought to what their consequences will be for the grid, for households, for affordability.

We are, here in Australia, blessed with some of the largest gas reserves in our region. We will shortly be the largest exporter of LNG in the world. And yet in Victoria a state Labor government has closed down one large power station—20 per cent of the state's electricity—which has had the result of increasing electricity costs in Victoria. And then, when we all know that, in every assumption, gas is the transition fuel—'You need gas to come in and take over from coal; gas will be the transition'—they have locked up all the gas. The Victorian government will not even allow the exploration of onshore conventional gas in Victoria.

Mr Bowen interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for McMahon!

Mr TURNBULL: So you have massive gas resources there in Victoria and you have people crying out for the energy. Victorian businesses who need gas for their feedstock have been examining the possible importation of LNG into Victoria. Can you believe that? There they are, with this ideological, left approach that the Labor Party adopt, sitting on all of this gas and they are not prepared to touch it.

We have a road map that we have set out and it is very simply this: we will deliver—

Mr Bowen: I rise on a point of order, Mr Speaker.

The SPEAKER: The member for McMahon will resume his seat. The Prime Minister has concluded his answer. I am going to the next question.

Government members interjecting

The SPEAKER: The Prime Minister has not? Okay. The member for McMahon on a point of order. I take him back to last year, and on to the first day, on frivolous points of order. Just before I call him I will give him a second to think.

Mr Bowen: Has the Prime Minister heard of Gladys Berejiklian?

The SPEAKER: The member for McMahon will leave under 94(a).

The member for McMahon then left the chamber—

Mr TURNBULL: We have a national renewable energy target which will be a challenge to meet as it stands, but we will meet it. But we have, at the same time, state Labor governments with extraordinary renewables targets—50 per cent in Queensland—by 2030. Do you know how many renewables there are now, Mr Speaker? Four per cent. How are they going to get there? They want to get to 50 per cent by 2030. It is a recipe for unaffordable, unreliable electricity. Labor stand in the way of jobs.