Statements By Senators Cost Of Living Energy, Monday 19 June 2023

Senator BABET (Victoria—United Australia Party Whip) (13:47): It’s only been 12 months since the Labor Party came to power, but thanks to the PM, Mr Albanese, Australians are struggling through a cost-of-living crisis, with inflation at over seven per cent. Our Treasurer has thrown fuel on the fire with a big spending budget that will likely lead to another rate rise or, at the very least, delay any expected reductions.

Australians were promised $275 of cuts in our power bills. Instead, some people’s power prices have gone up by 50 per cent, and they will keep going up. They will keep going up because of the government’s plan to shut down cheap, reliable power in the form of coal and gas. The government says that they want to attempt to install 40 wind turbines a month and 22,000 solar panels every single day until 2030. There is also the cost of extending the grid and backing up these renewables with batteries. It will add billions more to the cost of power, and it will damage the environment.

Batteries are resource intensive to manufacture, and they’re probably going to end up in a landfill at the end of their useful life. These are temporary solutions. They will all need to be replaced every 15-30 years because we know that the only thing that is renewable about renewable energy is the cost—that’s it. For anyone paying off a mortgage, times are tough. The record migration numbers are intensifying pressure on the housing market, adding to extreme demand and kicking renters to the curb. There are still two years left of this government until we can vote them out—two years. Let’s just hope Australia hasn’t gone broke by then.