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Wednesday, 16 August 2017
Page: 5788


Senator BIRMINGHAM (South AustraliaMinister for Education and Training) (12:39): I thank senators for their contributions to this debate and for their indications of support for this bill. The Turnbull government takes energy security matters incredibly seriously, across both the stationary energy and transport energy sectors. Whilst this bill focuses particularly on transport energy fuels and related topics, I note that Senator Moore's contribution stretched into other energy markets and systems. As a government, we are taking serious action to ensure the affordability and reliability of Australia's energy markets whilst also ensuring that Australia meets its international obligations in relation to climate change. Our investment in and pursuit of sensible investments such as Snowy 2.0 makes far more sense for ensuring energy security in the future than do the policies of, say, my home state of South Australia, where, thanks to the failure of energy policy by the state government, we now see fleets of diesel generators being brought into the state to operate over the summer. They will of course be using diesel, the dirtiest fuel source for climate change emissions, to generate energy. In relation to this bill and the actions we're taking in relation to the transport energy space, that is also depleting stocks of petroleum fuels reserves and otherwise, owing to the excessive use of diesel fuel resulting from the South Australian state Labor government's failed and flawed energy policy. We have other approaches that are dealing with not only the retail market, distribution and the operation of energy markets but also with generation—by investing in Snowy 2.0, the exploration of other pumped hydro facilities, and projects such as the solar-thermal operation at Port Augusta.

This bill relates specifically to the accuracy, reliability and timeliness of Australia's fuel statistics. It will help to safeguard energy security, particularly in the transport energy space and the operation of the fuel market, and it will help to ensure that Australia meets its international obligations. It will provide for accurate statistics which will help Australia plan a return to compliance with the International Energy Agency oil stockholding obligation. It will ensure that we capture all relevant fuels within the Australian market, which will ensure we can comply, and do so at minimal potential cost to all sectors. The government is committed to energy security. I commend this bill to the Senate.

Question agreed to.

Bills read a second time.