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Tuesday, 27 February 2018
Page: 2083


Mr CHAMPION (Wakefield) (15:47): It's always good to hear the member for Port Adelaide lacerate the government on their actual achievements, which are higher emissions, higher prices and less reliability. That's what they've actually delivered for the people of Australia, and they wonder why no-one can take them seriously when they stumble around in this incoherence. The speaker before me reeled off all these projects, but this is the government which sat around and celebrated the end of effective action against climate change in this parliament, and the member opposite was one of those dancing around the parliament and cheering and clapping with the member for Warringah at the time. Members opposite hand around lumps of coal in question time, and they wonder why we think that they are incapable of managing a transition to a new energy system dominated by renewable energy.

Of course, the member for Port Adelaide also pointed out Nick Xenophon's decade of cohabitation with Tony Abbott, his cohabitation with bad climate change policy and his role in destroying our transition to a renewable-based energy system, a non-carbon-based energy system. He talked about how Nick Xenophon had voted against the CPRS, had indulged crackpot theories and crackpot exercises, and had spent his time running around the place undermining people's confidence in renewables.

Ms Price interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Coulton ): The assistant minister's had her turn.

Mr CHAMPION: The assistant minister has had her turn. I didn't hear the interjection. She talks about regional people. I remember where I was on the night of the blackout. I was up in the Barossa Valley and, like other South Australians, we were trying to get everything ready. The power went out, and there we were, hunkered down in the living room. It was the middle of winter, so we had the combustion heater on and a good glass of red. We had the baby in the same room as us, and the dog was in the same room—the dog loved it. But I will tell you what was so frustrating that night. Rather than the people of South Australia being able to get emergency messages from the Premier or the State Emergency Services or the CFS, instead, they had to watch the ABC, where, 45 minutes after the blackout, Nick Xenophon, who was in Canberra, ran into a newsroom and blamed renewable energy. That's what actually happened on the night of the blackout. Normal politicians—and those opposite are normal, everyday politicians—when there's a disaster, when there's a natural event, stay out of the news waves, don't make political statements, and support the government and its agencies at a time of peril. Nick Xenophon—so desperate is he to get his head before the cameras, such a prima donna is he—ran into a Canberra newsroom and delivered a farrago of mistruths and lies about renewable energy. This is the record of Nick Xenophon. How can anybody take him seriously, and how can anybody take his signs that are up around Adelaide promising to lower power prices seriously? You may as well believe in the magic pudding, in fairytales, that there's a bridge in Sydney Harbour which you can buy. It is just complete nonsense. Of course, he's not alone in the South Australian election. There are other people putting out complete nonsense.

On 11 October 2017 it was exposed: 'SA Liberals concede energy plan alone won't slash bills by $300'. This was two days into the energy plan. Steven Marshall had conceded householders would only be between $60 and $70 better off as a result of his energy plan alone, rather than spruiking a $300 drop. So he was $230 out in his own estimates. It was such a debacle for the Leader of the Opposition, Steven Marshall, that Lainie Anderson, a columnist for the Sunday Mail, described it as 'one of the most stupid and/or devious policy announcements of recent times'. Lainie Anderson is no friend of the Labor Party, I might add.

Against this, you have Jay Weatherill, who's actually delivered an energy plan, with the world's largest lithium ion battery in Jamestown, a 150-megawatt solar thermal plant in Port Augusta, a state owned power plant with stand-by power for South Australian agencies, a $150 million renewable technology fund, stronger ministerial powers and stronger intervention in a market that wasn't working, because the national government made sure it wouldn't work.