Subjects: Day for Daniel; nuclear technologies; the government’s broken promise on a $275 cut to your power bills; cost of living pressures facing Australian households; gas supply; the Coalition’s super-for-housing policy.
I just wanted to make a comment in relation to Day for Daniel today. This is an incredibly important occasion and event. I hope that you’re really able to visit the website for the Morcombe Foundation and make a donation. This is a really important cause because it’s about making sure that our kids can be safe and the messages that the Morcombe Foundation are able to deliver through our schools and childcare centres, and elsewhere help save lives.
They are incredible people – Bruce and Denise Morcombe – they lead a wonderful organisation and the walk today in many parts of our country, but predominantly on the Sunshine Coast, is a really important day on our calendar and it’s one where we should stop and pause, think about our own kids, and what we can do to keep them safe online and in the real life as well.
But go to the Morcombe Foundation website. Please make a donation and have a look at some of the tips there for parents about how to keep kids safe.
I’m happy to take questions.
Just on energy – how serious are you about nuclear and do you think a price cap on gas would be effective in bringing down our prices?
Well, I think it’s important for us to have an intelligent debate and that’s what I’ve called for. I think some of the hype and the hysterical reactions from Chris Bowen and others, frankly, just aren’t in our country’s best interest. We need the adults in charge here to have a discussion about how we can help families reduce their power prices. We have to question whether the government has a credible pathway to emissions reductions if they can’t firm up the renewables that are going into the system.
Don’t forget that all Labor’s predictions are predicated on the rolling out of 28,000 kilometers of poles and wires. I mean it’s inconceivable. You’re talking about hundreds of billions of dollars and years and years and years and you know how bad Labor is at these infrastructure projects.
So, I think look at what Labor does, not what they say they will do. If you’re a family hanging on at the moment with extra mortgage repayments, with a huge spike in the price that you’re paying when you fill your car up, you go to the supermarket, at the checkout your bill goes up – every week, every occasion you go to the checkout – your insurance bill is going up, your gas bill is going up, and under this government your electricity bill is going up by 56 per cent over the next two years. I mean that is remarkable. The government’s been elected saying that they had a plan to help households. Let’s see what the plan is.
Just on the gas price cap for the Energy Ministers meeting, do you believe that that is the right thing to do?
Well, the government said that they had a plan. I mean, they went to the last election saying they had a plan. Now, they’ve just delivered a budget where they’ve been informed by Treasury and by the Energy Department over the course of the last five or six months. I mean, if they have a plan which is about capping or taxation or export restrictions, they should have detailed it on Tuesday night.
Instead, there was no plan for any reductions and the government belled the cat when they predicted that 56 per cent increases in electricity prices is what they would deliver and 44 per cent increases in gas prices. So, if the government has some secret package that they’re about to roll out, I’d love to see it.
Now, they’re going to cap gas prices. I don’t know what that means for sovereign risk. The Prime Minister was in Perth only last Saturday week with the Japanese Prime Minister, because he, along with the Koreans, are worried about what the supply would look like for their countries. I think these are questions that are rightly put to the Prime Minister and to the Treasurer. If you had a plan, why didn’t you detail it in Tuesday night’s budget? All of what Jim Chalmers has had to say about the prospect of taxation or subsidy for consumers or restrictions, etc. has all been made post Tuesday night when the government’s been in a panic because they realised that people now know there was no plan, and that people were conned before the election by the Prime Minister.
Your plan on allowing women to access their superannuation in order to stump up a deposit to buy a house later in life. Is that an acknowledgement from the Coalition that you know, female voters did desert the Liberal Party at the last election?
Well look, I think people can look at my track record in relation to my service as a police officer and my time here. I think my actions have been pretty consistent in terms of support for services to protect women and children. I’m very passionate about that, but also very passionate about helping women get into housing post a separation later in life because that is a real issue and many of those women end up homeless or staying with family or kids and they deserve the dignity of their own house and the options available to them are very limited. We’ve given a lot of thought to it and it just doesn’t make any sense that with your super fund you can go and buy a rental property that somebody else can live in, but you can’t buy a house that you can live in.
Allowing people to get into the housing market sooner, as we’ve seen, you know, if you bought a house 10 years ago by utilising your superannuation, you know what the property prices have done over the last 10 years, there’s a requirement that we’ve got to put the money back into your super when you sell the house, but hopefully you’ve still got enough equity there to buy the next house, you’ll end up with a much greater windfall by time of retirement and it makes sense.
The government will be opposed to it because some of the people within the industry super funds will be opposed to it and therefore Labor won’t give it any consideration, but I think it’s a worthy policy and it’s one that we’ll fight for.
Chris Bowen meeting with his state and territory counterparts today. What sort of timeframe do you think the government needs to act on energy crisis within?
Well, I think the hurt and the pain is being felt by families now and there was no plan, only pain in this Budget. The fact is that Chris Bowen, with all of the back slapping has happened this week, the Treasurer, you know, being slapped on the back by the Prime Minister congratulating him on a budget which delivers 56 per cent increases in people’s electricity prices.
I mean, it’s clear that Chris Bowen is part of the problem, not the solution and Anthony Albanese needs to get the adults in charge because families can’t continue to suffer under Labor’s increased cost of electricity and gas.
Thank you very much.