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An Energy Plan to Bring the Economy to its Knees

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Mr MORRIS (Mornington)—I am pleased to join the debate on this renewable energy bill.

I might just comment in passing that in fact the abbreviation ‘NB’ does not refer to ‘note before’. It refers to ‘nota bene’ which, as you indicate Acting Speaker McGuire you appreciate, as do I, means ‘note well’, a translation from the Latin. 

I think we should certainly note well the comments of the minister in the second-reading speech where she talked about a proposal that was both ‘ambitious and achievable’. I think the minister must have been taking some advice from that legendary senior public servant, Sir Humphrey Appleby, because it is certainly an ambitious target. Indeed this plan is so ambitious that it is totally and utterly unachievable.

But unfortunately in the process it is a direct attack on energy affordability and it is a direct attack on energy reliability.

Will the intensity of emissions be reduced? Of course they will—but at what cost?

We know that the impact on households of the cost of energy is already considerable. In December 2014, when this government came to power, the wholesale spot price for electricity was around $40 a megawatt hour. But by July this year, as the ABC reported, that price had gone up in Victoria to $104.92. We were only behind Tasmania at $114.27 and South Australia at $115.93.