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Tuesday, 7 February 2017
Page: 44

Climate Change

Mr BUTLER (Port Adelaide) (14:43): My question is to the Prime Minister. Energy Market Commission modelling shows that an emissions intensity scheme would save consumers $15 billion on their power bills, but within hours of Senator Bernardi objecting to the government even considering such a scheme the Prime Minister caved in and ruled it out in December. Given that Senator Bernardi has now quit the Liberal Party, will the Prime Minister reconsider an emissions intensity scheme, or are there still too many government MPs who hold the same views as Senator Bernardi—

Mr Joyce interjecting

Mr Pyne interjecting

Mr BUTLER: to prevent the Prime Minister taking the right action?

The SPEAKER: The Deputy Prime Minister and the Leader of the House will cease interjecting.

Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:43): We are not going to take energy policy lessons from the Labor Party, because the proof of their pudding is on every electricity bill. They have delivered higher and higher prices for electricity. What we will do is ensure that we have a clear-eyed, objective approach to energy policy, because the objective has to be simply this: to get affordable electricity, reliable electricity, and to meet our emissions-reduction targets. The reality is very simply this: that the Labor Party has pursued renewable energy as an end in itself without having regard to the need for base load power; without having regard to the fact that all of its assumptions about gas prices have been overtaken by both a massive rise in the cost of gas and its constrained availability; and without making any plans for the storage that is needed to make renewables viable. The Labor Party has absolutely failed Australians in energy policy. We are approaching this professionally, objectively and determined to ensure that we keep electricity and energy prices as low as possible, that energy is reliable and that we meet the international commitments that we entered into in the Paris treaty.