Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 13 August 2009
Page: 4905

Senator IAN MACDONALD (3:29 PM) —Mr Deputy President, I want to use the magnificent Annotated Standing Orders of the Australian Senate, edited by Rosemary Laing—I offer my congratulations to her on this fine book—to seek, pursuant to standing order 191, to make an explanation of a material part of a speech that I made which has been misquoted or misunderstood. Yesterday in a debate I said:

We have heard that electricity costs for ordinary Australian households will go up anywhere between 50 per cent and 200 per cent, particularly 200 per cent when you add the renewable energy scheme to the CPRS.

This morning in a debate Senator Wong said:

Senator Macdonald … claimed yesterday that electricity prices would increase by 200 per cent. His approach, I think, reflects an unfortunate tendency in this debate: if you do not like something, do not worry about the facts; just use whatever fact or figure you want in order to try and scare people.

I want to draw the Senate’s attention to page 47 of a Senate committee Hansard of 28 April. Ms Savage, the Chief Executive Officer of the Energy Supply Association of Australia, a witness appearing before a Senate committee, said:

From that perspective our estimate is that retail prices—

of electricity—

would rise by somewhere between 40 and 50 per cent by 2020.

Senator BOSWELL—Yes; thank you. So the average house would pay 40 or 50 per cent more?

Ms Savage—Somewhere in that order, yes.

I also draw the Senate’s attention—

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —Senator Macdonald, I need just to draw your attention to the fact that you can under standing order 191 explain where you have been either misquoted or misunderstood but you cannot debate that position.

Senator IAN MACDONALD —Mr Deputy President, I am not debating. I am showing where the thing was wrong. I am not entering into any debate. I am simply referring the Senate to items of the Senate committee Hansard.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —I will listen carefully.

Senator IAN MACDONALD —That was one instance. The other instance—and this is the end of it, Mr Deputy President—is in a Senate committee Hansard of 28 April. Mr St Baker, the Executive Chairman of ERM Power Pty Ltd, gave evidence to a Senate committee. He had given certain evidence and I said, to be clear:

You are saying that retail customers, with MRET and CPRS, will by 2020 be paying 150 to 200 per cent more than they are paying now—

for electricity. Mr St Baker said:

Yes, that is right.

I say no more except that Senator Wong, in accusing me of making up those figures, was clearly mistaken. I was simply relating evidence that had been given to a Senate committee.