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Tuesday, 26 June 2018
Page: 6369

Energy


Mr BUTLER (Port Adelaide) (14:24): My question is again to the Prime Minister. Is the Prime Minister aware that the Energy Council has called new coal-fired power stations 'uninvestable' and said the industry has no plans to start building new coal-fired power stations? Energy Australia has said coal-fired power 'is a legacy technology'; 'it's a solution that my grandfather would have built'. AGL has said, 'We do not believe any private capital will invest in new coal plants.' And Origin has said, 'It is unlikely we would be an investor in new coal.' So how on earth can the Prime Minister suggest, twice today in parliament, that coal-fired power might be around forever? (Time expired)


Mr FRYDENBERG (KooyongMinister for the Environment and Energy) (14:24): I haven't had a question from the member for Port Adelaide for 250 days. He lost his seat, he lost the presidency and now he's lost his relevance. The reality is, as the Prime Minister said, coal is a critical part of our energy mix. It makes up around 70 per cent of the capacity in the National Electricity Market. And the member for Port Adelaide knows what happened in South Australia when the Northern Power Station closed—the wholesale prices went up by more than 80 per cent. And the member for Maribyrnong now turns his back, because it was a Labor government in Victoria that tripled the royalties on the coal-fired power stations of Victoria and saw the closure of Hazelwood—which also saw wholesale prices in Victoria go up by 80 per cent. Now it's up to the Labor Party to tell the blue-collar workers in the mines and power stations across the country that Labor policies will close them down and put them out of a job. Will they go to the electorate of Flynn and tell the 230 workers at the Gladstone power plant that under their policy they will be out of a job? Will they go to the electorate of Gippsland and tell the 500 workers at the Yallourn power plant that under the Labor Party's emissions intensity scheme they'll lose their jobs? And will they go to the member for Shortland's electorate and tell the 300 workers there at Vales Point that under the Labor Party's policy they'll lose their jobs?

When it comes to coal, we know that we can't trust what the Labor Party says—because the member for Shortland is the shadow assistant minister for climate change, and he proudly put this on his website about the Carmichael mine: 'I welcome the jobs it will provide in Queensland.'

Honourable members interjecting

Mr FRYDENBERG: What do you think his website now says? What do you think the member—

Mr Hill interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Bruce is warned.

Mr FRYDENBERG: He's gone to the same school of websites that the member for Barton went to, because now his website says the following: 'I remain opposed to the Carmichael mine.' So the Leader of the Opposition will go to the miners in Mackay and tell them he supports coal. He will then go to the baristas of Batman and tell them that coal has no future. Don't look at what Labor says; look at what Labor does. Only the coalition can be trusted to deliver more reliable and affordable power.