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Tuesday, 12 September 2017
Page: 10033

Mr LLEW O'BRIEN (Wide Bay) (13:44): I want to put on the record my support for the resolution to reject the Finkel-proposed clean energy target of 42 per cent of renewable energy by 2030, passed by the Nationals' federal conference on the weekend. My constituents ask me: 'Why does our country, so rich in energy-producing resources, pay some of the world's highest electricity prices?' We must exploit our natural advantage to provide cheap and reliable energy to create jobs and maintain our international competitiveness. Finkel found that coal is by far the cheapest and most reliable source of power, whereas solar and wind cost taxpayers many billions of dollars in subsidies each year.

Mr Pasin interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Coulton ): The member for Barker will be quiet.

Mr LLEW O'BRIEN: The renewable energy target flies in the face of every principle of the Liberal and National parties. It distorts the energy market and places a needless burden on those who have elected us to act in their best interests. The renewable energy target simply drives up the power price. To continue to support an RET status quo undermines our nation's competitiveness. Renewables need to stand on their own two feet and not be propped up by taxpayer subsidies. We need a level playing field to deliver true competitive cheap power prices. Renewable energy is a wonderful idea but reliable, cheap energy is essential to keep the wheels of our economy turning.