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Wednesday, 25 October 2017
Page: 11958


Mr VASTA (Bonner) (14:17): My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer outline to the House what action the government is taking to address cost-of-living pressures for hardworking Australian families and businesses? How will the National Energy Guarantee support the government's objectives to put downward pressure on the cost of living and grow our economy for more and better paid jobs?

Mr MORRISON (CookTreasurer) (14:17): I thank the member for Bonner for his question. He would be interested to know that, according to the Energy Security Board, which is the independent panel of experts established by COAG to advise Commonwealth and state and territory governments, the National Energy Guarantee will reduce household power bills by $115 a year. Now, according to the Climate Change Authority, Labor's 50 per cent Renewable Energy Target will increase electricity bills by $192 per year, while knocking out—

Opposition members interjecting

Mr MORRISON: I'm sure that the member for Shortland and the member for Hunter will be thrilled to know that it is knocking 75 per cent of our existing coal-fired power generation out of the system, including Liddell.

Mr Fitzgibbon interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Hunter will cease interjecting!

Mr MORRISON: Liddell should stay open, member for Hunter! You should do something about backing that up, rather than walking away from the people who count on you to stand up for them!

Mr Fitzgibbon interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Hunter is warned!

Mr MORRISON: But that means that under Labor's electricity bill, there will be $300 more that is paid by households compared to what will occur under the Turnbull government's National Energy Guarantee, as recommended by that board.

Now, it's interesting because in the shadow Treasurer's train wreck interview from February of this year—which I'm sure he has not forgotten and I'm sure David Speers has not forgotten—he was asked about this by David Speers, and David Speers painfully extracted this from the shadow Treasurer. He was asked for a commitment about Labor's 50 per cent renewables policy and its impact on electricity prices. In response to the direct question:

So you are saying we can get to 50%—

on renewables—

with no net impact on power prices …

That was the question, and the shadow Treasurer stated in response:

… there's no impact on electricity prices out of that policy …

The shadow Treasurer has a lot to apologise for from his time in government. There was cash for clunkers, Fuelwatch, Grocery Watch, 25,000 illegal arrivals from almost 400 boats, and standing there and doing nothing while bikie gang bosses had their visas renewed on his watch. What he should apologise for is the mistruth he spoke to David Speers earlier this year. He knows that his policy will drive up electricity prices, and it's important that he corrects the record on his own policy. But what's even more important is that the Labor Party get on board with the National Energy Guarantee. We've seen in the inflation figures today that electricity prices in Adelaide went up 21.3 per cent

Mr Perrett interjecting

Mr MORRISON: That is even more than they did when Labor whacked their carbon tax on them. It's time for Labor to get on board with the National Energy Guarantee.

The SPEAKER: I will just say to the member for Moreton: every day we have the same conversation; we're not having it today. Okay?