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Thursday, 9 February 2017
Page: 547

Energy Security


Ms PRICE (Durack) (15:07): My question is to the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Will the minister advise the House what Australia's key international partners are doing to ensure their energy security? Is the minister aware of any alternative approaches?


Ms JULIE BISHOP (CurtinMinister for Foreign Affairs) (15:07): I thank the member for Durack for her question and I note her interest in energy security and the important role of the resources play in her electorate.

Australia is an energy superpower. Our resources are powering the rise in living standards of developed countries. Our resources are driving the economic strength of developed countries. And Australia is the largest exporter of coal. Australia will soon be the largest exporter of LNG. On this side of the House we know that fossil fuels will continue to play a vital role in securing the world's energy needs as well as, of course, playing a vital role in securing the jobs of thousands of Australians, including in the electorate of Durack.

I am asked about what our international partners and competitors are doing. Let me take South Korea. Coal consumption in South Korea has increased by 50 per cent over the 10-year period 2005 to 2015, driven by the electricity sector. In Japan, it is estimated that 45 additional coal-fired power stations will come online in the next decade with the introduction of ultra-supercritical units combined cycle technology, and this will not only secure Japan's electricity needs but meet their environmental standards. Indeed, it is estimated that in our region alone 162 ultra-supercritical units, coal-fired power stations, will be built over the next decade.

I am asked to contrast what our international partners and competitors are doing with others. Well, take the Labor Party's quixotic renewable energy target policies. In South Australia, under a Labor government, we have seen blackout after blackout, destroying business confidence, undermining jobs and threatening investment. In Queensland and Victoria we have seen the renewable energy targets of Labor governments challenging electricity prices to all-time highs, threatening jobs. And it seems that Labor's recklessness is contagious—this madness has now crossed the Nullarbor—because the Western Australian Labor Party has been shown to be planning a 50 per cent renewable energy target for Western Australia. So they are equal opportunity when it comes to power blackouts. Their idea of equality is for Western Australia to have blackouts as well. Just wait for Mark McGowan's Julia Gillard moment, when he looks down the camera and says, 'there will be no 50 per cent renewable energy target under a government I lead'! He is introducing a 50 per cent renewable energy target. Western Australia— (Time expired)

Mr Turnbull: I ask that further questions be placed on the Notice Paper.

Ms Plibersek interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Sydney knows the Prime Minister is completely within his power to end question time, which he has done. She has got the matter of public importance so far.