Mr RAMSEY (Grey—Government Whip) (16:01): Honestly, I can’t believe this motion. I am really struggling. Energy and emission policies by this government are a spectacular success, and saying it ain’t so does not make it fact. We are completely on target. We beat our Kyoto targets. We’ll beat Kyoto 2. And, despite what the member for Bendigo just said about not meeting targets, we are on track to beat our Paris targets—a non-compulsory target that a whole host of countries, who puffed their chests out at the time, didn’t even set targets for. But we will meet our target—a target, in fact, that the ALP are not publicly prepared to say they would commit to.
I should know a bit about energy policy. I come from South Australia. In 2016 we faced an absolute crisis when the Weatherill government—a Labor government, I might point out—pulled the rug out from under the Northern Power Station. They pulled 540 megawatts off the power grid overnight—just like that; snap—and our spot prices for wholesale electricity in South Australia that year soared to $108 a megawatt hour. In the five years that have passed since that time, through strategic government policies—these things don’t happen in a vacuum—this year it’s $35 a megawatt.
An opposition member interjecting—
Mr RAMSEY: Yes, the battery is an improvement. So is the extra wind generation. I absolutely support that premise. But let me also say that the more than halving of the gas price in Australia is absolutely instrumental in delivering that outcome. Let me explain to those on the other side, if they don’t understand: it is the last generator that comes into the electricity bidding grid that sets the price, and in this case the last bidder is the generator that that can supply electricity on demand, and in South Australia that’s gas. So the more than halving of the gas price in South Australia has led to the outcome where we have more than halved, in fact it’s come down by almost 60 per cent, the wholesale spot price in South Australia.
This has made an absolute difference in our state. We can see businesses that can afford to lift their heads up again and pay their electricity rates. In fact, in 2016 we had the highest electricity price in the world. To then hear in this place that people are proposing that the government policies that have actually delivered that outcome are a failure is beyond imagination, quite frankly.
The other half of what I really wanted to concentrate on here today is the absolute myth that keeps on being expounded in this place that somehow Australia is failing on emissions targets as well. I started off by giving you those facts about the targets we are meeting. In this year, 2021, we are now 17 per cent below the 2005 emissions levels, and we will get to 26 to 28 per cent by 2030. This is an outcome that is not matched by many nations around the world.
Last week, I came into this place and I took some time to explain to people how the international carbon accounting mechanism is drawn up by Europeans for Europeans, and it does not recognise the role of nations that actually export energy to provide clean energy on their behalf. Take the Australian gas industry, for instance. Thirty per cent of the energy from gas that is extracted in Australia to be sent to Japan so they can have clean electricity—much cleaner than using coal—is actually used in Australia in the compression process. Guess whose debit that 30 per cent goes on? It goes down against Australia, yet we are not the beneficiary of using the energy. That is an absolute racket! When it comes to uranium, we use electricity and diesel to mine and refine the uranium and then we send it to other countries so they can have clean energy, but the diesel and the electricity goes on our debit account. That’s a preposterous situation. It should operate like a GST.