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Tuesday, 19 February 2019
Page: 13905


Mr BUTLER (Port Adelaide) (14:45): My question is to the Prime Minister. Labor has repeatedly called on the Prime Minister to schedule extra sitting weeks so that recommendations of the banking royal commission can be implemented before the election. Today it's reported that the Minister for Agriculture said that the government couldn't legislate its so-called big-stick energy laws because it had run out of sitting days. If the big stick is really so critical, why won't the Prime Minister schedule extra sitting days? Is it because the Prime Minister has lost control of the parliament or, because after 11 failed attempts in three years, this government can't agree on energy policy? (Time expired)

Mr Hill interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Bruce is warned!

Mr MORRISON (CookPrime Minister) (14:46): Our government's policy is to hold the big energy companies to account. We will stand with the Australian people to ensure that they get the best possible deal from the energy companies. I invite the Minister for Energy, in particular, to set out very clearly the very important change that took place yesterday which demonstrates how our government is working to relieve the burden on Australians when it comes to their electricity bills.

Mr TAYLOR (HumeMinister for Energy) (14:46): I thank the Prime Minister. Yesterday, we put a rule change on the AEMC which will hold the big energy companies to account. For years now, we have seen the big energy companies charging customers sneaky late premiums because they pay an hour late or a day late. This is absolutely unacceptable behaviour, and we will not stand for it. We've seen customers paying as much as $1,000 a year extra because of these dodgy practices from the big energy companies. We're passing through a whole series of changes to keep the big energy companies to account.

Those opposite have voted against legislation to hold the big energy companies to account. They voted against them 11 times. We on this side of the House sit on the side of the hardworking small businesses and the hardworking households of Australia. Those opposite sit on the side of the big energy companies.