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46    Energy prices

Senator Pratt, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 27—That the Senate—

               (a)       notes that:

                                     (i)       since 2013, gas prices for manufacturers have skyrocketed, increasing by up to four times their levels in 2013,

                                    (ii)       according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, spiralling gas prices have resulted in three manufacturers closing down and threaten the viability of many more businesses,

                                  (iii)       Australia has become the world’s largest gas exporter while our own businesses face difficulties in securing affordable gas supplies,

                                  (iv)       the Federal Government continues to refuse to bring big gas companies to heel by pulling the trigger on gas export controls,

                                   (v)       under Prime Minister Morrison, power prices have continued to skyrocket, with wholesale power price futures contracts up by 33% since former Prime Minister, Mr Malcolm Turnbull was forced out of The Lodge, and

                                  (vi)       Prime Minister Morrison’s election promise to reduce wholesale power prices to $70/mwh by 2021 would only bring prices back to the levels seen under his predecessor, Mr  Turnbull; and

               (b)       calls on the Federal Government to take real action to reduce the cost of energy in Australia by:

                                     (i)       bringing big gas companies to heel by finally pulling the trigger on gas export controls and ensuring Australian users have access to affordable Australian gas,

                                    (ii)       guaranteeing a reduction in gas prices for Australian businesses to levels that can sustain competitive Australian manufacturing, as well as ensuring ample gas supply for Australian users, and

                                  (iii)       delivering a national energy policy that will end investment uncertainty and deliver a modern energy system including cheaper, reliable and clean power.

Statement by leave : The Minister for Forestry and Fisheries (Senator Duniam), by leave, made a statement relating to the motion.

Senator Waters, by leave, moved the following amendments together:

After subparagraph (a)(i), insert:

(ia)    the Government is giving this gas away with no royalties and missing out on $90 billion in revenue with gas companies sitting on $324 billion in petroleum resource rent tax credits before they have to pay a cent in tax and that neither the Government or Opposition want to change this cosy set up or threaten future political donations,

Omit subparagraph (a)(iii), substitute:

                                  (iii)       Australia has become the world’s largest gas exporter, thanks to environmental approvals issued by Labor governments, while our own businesses face difficulties in securing affordable gas supplies;

After subparagraph (a)(vi), insert:

                                (vii)       gas exports increase pressure on domestic gas extraction, placing farmers’ land and water under sustained threat from fracking for unconventional gas, and

                               (viii)       new gas production will increase global emissions 25% more than new coal projects and the industry threatens our ability to stay below 1.5 degrees of warming; and

Omit paragraph (b), substitute:

(b)        calls on the Government to take real action to reduce the cost of energy in Australia by:

                                     (i)       bringing big gas and fossil fuel companies to heel, supporting the transition to renewable energy and ensuring Australian users have access to affordable, clean, renewable energy,

                                    (ii)       guaranteeing a reduction in gas energy prices for Australian businesses by subsidising renewable energy developments to levels that can sustain competitive Australian manufacturing, as well as ensuring ample clean energy supply for Australian users, and

                                  (iii)       delivering a national energy policy that will end investment uncertainty and deliver a modern energy system including cheaper, reliable and clean power.

Question—That the amendments be agreed to—put.

The Senate divided—

AYES, 9

Senators—

Di Natale

McKim

Siewert*

Waters

Faruqi

Rice

Steele-John

Whish-Wilson

Hanson-Young

 

 

 

NOES, 55

Senators—

Abetz

Duniam

McAllister

Ryan

Antic

Fawcett

McCarthy

Scarr

Askew

Fierravanti-Wells

McDonald

Seselja

Ayres

Fifield

McGrath

Sheldon

Bragg

Gallacher

McMahon

Sinodinos

Brockman

Gallagher

O’Sullivan

Smith, Dean

Canavan

Green

Paterson

Sterle

Carr

Griff

Patrick

Stoker

Chandler

Hanson

Payne

Urquhart*

Ciccone

Hughes

Pratt

Van

Colbeck

Hume

Rennick

Walsh

Cormann

Keneally

Reynolds

Watt

Davey

Kitching

Roberts

Wong

Dodson

Lambie

Ruston

 

 

 

* Tellers

Question negatived.

Main question put.

The Senate divided—

AYES, 27

Senators—

Ayres

Gallacher

Lines

Sheldon

Bilyk

Gallagher

McAllister

Sterle

Brown

Green

McCarthy

Urquhart*

Carr

Griff

O’Neill

Walsh

Chisholm

Hanson

Patrick

Watt

Ciccone

Keneally

Pratt

Wong

Dodson

Kitching

Roberts

 

 

 

NOES, 41

Senators—

Abetz

Di Natale

McGrath

Ryan

Antic

Duniam

McKim

Scarr

Askew

Faruqi

McMahon

Seselja

Bernardi

Fawcett

O’Sullivan

Siewert

Bragg

Fifield

Paterson

Smith, Dean*

Brockman

Hanson-Young

Payne

Steele-John

Canavan

Hughes

Rennick

Stoker

Chandler

Hume

Reynolds

Van

Colbeck

Lambie

Rice

Waters

Cormann

McDonald

Ruston

Whish-Wilson

Davey

 

 

 

* Tellers

Question negatived.