Energy Prices in Australia

21 May 2018 speech

Ms FLINT (Boothby) (13:59): In a nation like ours, rich with a range of energy resources, we should have some of the lowest electricity prices in the world and the most reliable electricity in the world. Yet, as we know, this is not the case.

Today we've seen energy company AGL refuse an offer by Alinta to purchase the Liddell coal-fired power station and extend its life. Alinta are disappointed, because the sale would have allowed them to continue to drive down the cost of electricity and increase reliability.

In an age when large corporates take social responsibility and social activism so seriously, surely for all power companies their most important job should be delivering cheap and reliable power to hardworking Australians. Cheap and reliable power ensures our senior Australians can turn their air conditioners on in summer and their heaters on in winter. It means that parents don't have to choose between properly feeding and clothing their family and paying their power bill. It means that businesses don't have to cut back on employees and growth because record power prices have kicked in.

South Australia has seen record numbers of power disconnections and a spike in families seeking help from organisations like Foodbank SA. Labor government policies, Labor opposition policies and the market have failed to deliver cheap and reliable power. We must look at all options to provide cheap and reliable power. The lives and livelihoods of so many Australians are depending on us to do so.