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Monday, 3 December 2018
Page: 12175


Mr PERRETT (MoretonOpposition Whip) (11:32): I rise to speak on the motion moved by the member for Fairfax. I agree with the member for Fairfax on one thing: that many Queensland families are certainly struggling with cost-of-living pressures and many small businesses are being crippled by the cost of doing business. It's a timely reminder that this coalition government has been in power; they're limping towards their sixth year of government. I note that house prices in many capital cities and share prices have also taken a big hit under their watch.

It's an old tactic, isn't it? When you've run out of vision, when you've run out of things to do, you pick a fight with a state government. Let's look at the speaking list today. Let's have a look. In terms of the Fair Work Amendment (Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Bill, there are no coalition speakers. On the Higher Education Support (Charges) Bill, there are no coalition speakers. On the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Amendment Bill, there is one coalition speaker. But they're happy to jump up to speak about this private member's bill.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Goodenough ): The member will resume his seat. The member for Fairfax on a point of order.

Mr Ted O'Brien: The member for Moreton is failing to address the topic in the motion.

Mr PERRETT: What's your point of order?

Mr Ted O'Brien: Relevance is therefore the point of order.

Mr PERRETT: Get out of it!

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Okay. I call the member for Moreton.

Mr PERRETT: Unbelievable! I'm talking directly to the motion put forward by the member for Fairfax, and he can't take a little bit of criticism. He's got a glass jaw. Unbelievable! I remember in 2013 when the member for Warringah, then the Leader of the Opposition, promised Australians that he would drop power bills by $550. That was his promise to the people of Queensland and to the people of Australia. What happened? Have we ever had an apology from those opposite? Have we ever had anyone stand up and say, 'I'm sorry about that'? No, we haven't. Instead, we have them hiding behind parliamentary tactics when we're talking about power bills.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! The member for Fairfax.

Mr Ted O'Brien: I rise on a point of order on relevance. Two minutes has already gone and he hasn't addressed this issue. The entire motion talks about the Queensland Labor government. He's refusing to defend his comrades. I don't know what's wrong. He has 2½ minutes to go. I'm hoping he might address the topic.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: There is no point of order.

Mr Stephen Jones: A point of order: this is intolerable. It has been the practice in this place that we don't call points of order, particularly on relevance, in private members' business. He's had his time to speak. Perhaps the member for Moreton can be allowed to have his entire allotment.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I call the member for Moreton.

Mr PERRETT: It's great to have in Hansard, on the record,that the member for Fairfax says that the member for Warringah's promise that power prices would be reduced is not relevant in a discussion about power bills. What planet do these people live on? What planet do they live on? We know that people in Queensland are doing it tough. I've doorknocked people. I visited a pensioner just off Monash Road in Tarragindi the other day. He said in winter he had to turn his hot water system off. In Queensland, you can almost get away with that, but it broke my heart to hear it was in the middle of winter. The member for Fairfax said, 'I know that the Leader of the Opposition and then Prime Minister'—the last but one Prime Minister—'promised a $550 reduction in power bills'—a broken promise. I remember in 2018 when the former Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull—have you ever heard that name?

Mr Dick: He did a doorstop this morning.

Mr PERRETT: That's right. The former member for Wentworth, the then Treasurer and now Prime Minister Morrison, and the current Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, promised a $550 power saving if the National Energy Guarantee was adopted. That's not ancient history. That was only a few months ago. Remember? But it hasn't happened, because their policy went up in smoke. It went through the Liberal party room after it was backed by those opposite three times, including by the current member for Hume and the member for Fairfax. They backed it three times, but then they ditched it like they ditched the former Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull.

It's a bit rich for the member for Fairfax to complain about power prices in Queensland when, for the last six years under the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison-whoever government, power prices have gone up and up despite their promises. We need a Labor Party that can take control and that will invest in renewables. That's what will deliver cheaper power prices in Queensland.