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Wednesday, 28 November 2018
Page: 11859

National Energy Guarantee


Mr BOWEN (McMahon) (14:59): My question is to the Treasurer. Does the Treasurer agree with himself when he said:

… if you believe in lower power prices, if you want to see Australian households $550 a year better off, if you want to see the wholesale price down by 20 per cent, if you want to be side by side with the big employers across the country, you get behind the National Energy Guarantee …


Mr FRYDENBERG (KooyongThe Treasurer) (14:59): As the Prime Minister made very clear, the Leader of the Opposition, when the National Energy Guarantee was being discussed, called it a Frankenstein policy. In doing so, he revealed everything that he is about: just politics. It's all about politics; it's not about reducing power prices. Do you know the Labor Party's record on power prices when they were last in government? Power prices doubled. They doubled. The member for Port Adelaide comes from the state where they had that big, failed experiment where they had a blackout and businesses saw their power prices rise and families were hurt by higher power prices.

The member for Hume, the Prime Minister and our side of politics are making a real difference in lowering power prices. On 1 July this year, power prices came down in Queensland, South Australia and New South Wales. As the energy minister said, AGL have just reduced their standing offers, which will see 150,000 households up to $180 a year better off and 27,000 businesses up to $340 a year better off. That's a result of policies we are taking; the energy companies are reacting. The wholesale power price is down about 20 per cent year on year. We have avoided the gas shortfall that was created by those opposite, by their own gas policy when they were last in government, and when they ignored the warnings from AEMO.

As the energy minister has made clear, we have a broad suite of reforms which include the default price, backing new generation and dealing with a market failure. We have taken the advice of the ACCC and we have a policy that will not only reduce power prices but also reduce emissions, which are at the lowest level on a per capita and GDP basis in 28 years. There hasn't been as much investment in renewables as there has been under a coalition government. These are inconvenient truths for the Labor Party. When the Labor Party have an energy policy it's a recklessly high 45 per cent target, which the Business Council of Australia said will be a wrecking ball through the economy. Only the coalition can be trusted to reduce people's power prices.