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Tuesday, 26 June 2018
Page: 6379

Energy


Mr RAMSEY (GreyGovernment Whip) (15:03): My question is to the Minister for the Environment and Energy. Will the minister update the House on the action the government is taking to bring down energy prices and support business and industries across the Australian economy? What are the alternatives to the government's plan for affordable energy?


Mr FRYDENBERG (KooyongMinister for the Environment and Energy) (15:03): I thank the member for Grey for his question. He has lived experience of the failure of Labor's energy policies. He comes from the state of South Australia, which has the highest prices in the country and had the inglorious experience of a statewide blackout that cost the state $500 million. $500 million! That's enough to build 30 primary schools, to upgrade 10 local hospitals and to build important regional roads. One of the biggest casualties of that statewide blackout in South Australia was BHP, with 3,000 workers in the member for Grey's electorate at Olympic Dam. They had $100 million of costs because of Labor's statewide blackout.

Today BHP, the largest resource company in the world, came together with the CEO of BlueScope, Australia's largest manufacturer, and the leaders of the National Farmers' Federation, the Minerals Council of Australia, the Australian Industry Group and the Business Council of Australia, and they came to parliament with a very clear and unequivocal message that the National Energy Guarantee is in the national interest. They have told us that under the National Energy Guarantee electricity prices will fall, stability will increase and we will get the investment certainty that the sector so badly needs. Those companies and those groups represent five million Australian workers, more than 150,000 businesses and more than $200 billion of exports each and every year. Under the National Energy Guarantee, wholesale prices will fall by 23 per cent. So, if you're a chemical manufacturer, this could be a worth a million dollars in decreased energy bills to your business. If you're a paper manufacturer, it could be worth $10 million a year. If you're a large supermarket, it could be a reduction of $400,000 a year, not to mention the average Australian household, which will be $300 a year better off under the National Energy Guarantee than under the Labor Party.

Now power prices are falling. We've seen the big three across New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland reduce their power prices. Powershop, as I mentioned to the parliament yesterday, an emerging retailer, have decreased their offerings for small business in Queensland by more than 14 per cent, worth more than $1,400 a year, and more than eight per cent for households, worth more than $140 a year. So the National Energy Guarantee is good for jobs, it's good for business and it's good for the economy. Only the coalition can be trusted to deliver lower power prices.