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Tuesday, 26 June 2018
Page: 6366


Mr BUTLER (Port Adelaide) (14:14): My question is to the Prime Minister. Just last month, the chair of the Energy Security Board repeated the consensus view that there would be absolutely no way that anybody would be financing a new coal-fired power generation plant and that this was not contentious at a factual level. So how can the Prime Minister today tell the parliament that coal-fired power might be around forever? Is there nothing this Prime Minister won't do to stop the members for Warringah and Hughes from crossing the floor and undermining his government?

Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:14): Mr Speaker, I'm not quite sure what the honourable member believes qualifies him to have some sort of infallible crystal ball, but, over the years, I've found that predictions about technology are often mistaken. So you're better off recognising—

Mr Butler interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Port Adelaide has asked his question.

Mr TURNBULL: The reality is that coal-fired power is a big part of our energy mix at the moment. It will be a big part for a very long time, and may very well be forever. We'll find out in many years to come. The reality is, in the here and now, we need to have cheaper and more reliable power. And the honourable member knows better than most that in his state that combination of left-wing Labor ideology led by the now dismissed Labor government, dismissed by the people of South Australia, and utter incompetence resulted in his state having the most expensive and the least reliable electricity in Australia. We are delivering more reliable and more affordable power because we are working on it with the benefit of engineering and economics. I know they are strangers to the honourable member, but, believe me, they are the guides to a more affordable and reliable energy future for all Australians.