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Tuesday, 24 October 2017
Page: 11745


Mr RAMSEY (GreyGovernment Whip) (14:28): My question is to the Minister for the Environment and Energy. I know the minister is well aware of the difficulty South Australia has been having with its electricity market. Will the minister update the House on the importance of the government's commitment to energy affordability and reliability, and what obstacles stand in the way of delivering reliable and affordable energy to hardworking Australian businesses and families?

Mr FRYDENBERG (KooyongMinister for the Environment and Energy) (14:28): I thank the member for Grey for his question. I know that he is deeply focused on reducing the power prices for his constituents and major business, whether it's Arrium, whether it's Nyrstar at Port Pirie and whether it's BHP at Olympic Dam. He welcomes the Turnbull's government's commitment to solar thermal projects, including those at Port Augusta and at the upper Spencer Gulf—a pumped hydro facility at Cultana.

On this side of the House we support the National Energy Guarantee because we know it is going to lead to reliable, affordable power as well as meet our international obligations. There are no taxes, no subsidies and no trading schemes. It's been broadly welcomed by the Minerals Council, by the manufacturers, by the meat processors, by the irrigators, by the grocers, by Australia's biggest employers, by the BECA, by the Ai Group. It has been endorsed by the Chief Scientist. There's only one person who's not yet on board. Guess who? It's the Leader of the Opposition. The Leader of the Opposition is like that Japanese soldier, Hiro Onoda: for 30 years he was stuck in the jungle, lost in the jungle, refusing to surrender while everyone was getting on. In fact, they found the Leader of the Opposition there in the jungle with his emissions intensity scheme in one hand and the climate wars in the other.

Today, on the front pageofThe Australian it has been revealed that modelling undertaken by the Climate Change Authority will mean that Labor's emissions intensity scheme and its 50 per cent renewable energy target won't lead to power prices going down, but will lead to them going up by nearly $200. So, while the National Energy Guarantee will lead to savings of up to $115, Labor's policy will lead to an increase of nearly $200, which is not good news for the people in the electorate in Port Adelaide or for the people of Maribyrnong or the people in the electorate of Watson.

Now the Labor Party has a very bad policy. The member for Port Adelaide, he might be a good bloke but he's in charge of a very bad policy. The prices will go up under the Labor Party if they ever get their chance back in government, as prices went up when they were last in government—up by 100 per cent. So it's time the Labor Party got on board with the National Energy Guarantee and gave us more reliable and affordable power, which is what the coalition will do.