Matters of Public Importance – Energy, Monday 25 March, 2024

Senator BABET (Victoria—United Australia Party Whip) (16:06): Obviously, I rise in support of Senator Canavan’s urgency motion. Why wouldn’t I? Of course, I do. The Labor Party’s mad fixation on rewiring our nation and the energy grid will not change global temperatures—we all know that—but it is creating havoc across our nation.

It beggars belief, it really does, that Minister Bowen, who in my personal opinion has failed at every ministry portfolio that he has ever held, is now in charge of completely dismantling and deconstructing our reliable baseload energy infrastructure and replacing it with less reliable, made in China garbage—let’s be honest. Our cheap, abundant coal is shipped overseas for use in foreign power plants, while we cannot use it here at home and while our own coal-fired power plants are quite literally blown up. Our ample natural gas reserves are left in the ground, unfortunately, while business warns of an impending shortage. The one energy source that could reduce emissions while supplying the needs of householders and industry is just outright banned from even being considered. The government’s nuclear power phobia is matched only by the government’s wind and solar obsession. Meanwhile, the good people of this nation are paying through the nose for their electricity. But you know what? Before Minister Bowen got his hands on our grid, we had some of the cheapest power in the world. That’s what we had.

Prime Minister Albanese spent a year going around talking about his Voice to Parliament, but where is the voice for our farmers, our struggling families out there, our regional communities, our koalas and our whales, whose habitats are under threat from all this renewable energy garbage? That is what it is—garbage. The result of all of this is going to be quite predictable. It’s going to be grim. It’s going to be higher power prices and less reliable power. That’s what’s going to happen.