We have had a decade of obstructionism and stupidity from this rabble of a government when they were in opposition under former Prime Minister Tony Abbott—when they were run by Tony Abbott—and now under the current Prime Minister, Mr Turnbull. Such a disappointment to everyone in the country. This is the guy who stood up and said he wouldn’t lead a government that wasn’t serious about dealing with climate change. This is a man who just ran away from every value and every principle he ever had.
Senator Nash, who begged to be questioned on a policy issue and actually said, ‘Ask me a question about what we’re doing to improve energy affordability,’ couldn’t even answer the question after begging us to ask her a question on that very issue. She wasn’t even prepared to come in here and deal with it. Yet this is a minister who is here under false pretences. She should do the same as her colleague in the National Party and stand down from the ministry until her capacity to sit here as a minister is determined by the High Court. This is a nonsense. This is a government in absolute crisis. This is a government just going from one crisis to another.
I can tell Senator Nash that the question I actually asked her was whether it was true that wholesale prices had doubled under this government, and the answer is yes. I also asked her about the Finkel review. There was one overarching position in the Finkel review, which was that the Finkel review proposed a clean energy target. Yet all the troglodytes on the other side of the parliament, all these people who just don’t believe in climate change—all the climate change deniers—will not allow the current Prime Minister to actually put a clean energy target in to do something about electricity prices in this country. I couldn’t believe it when Senator Fawcett actually got up and asked the question and spoke about filthy polluting diesel generators. Obviously, Senator Fawcett’s never been in a power station. Well, I worked at Liddell power station for seven years, as a maintenance fitter, and I can tell you that if you ever want to see a dirty, polluting place, go to Liddell power station. It’s filthy. Coal-fired power stations are absolutely filthy. Maybe, Senator Fawcett, AGL will let you go in and have a look at the power stations up there and see how dirty they are. They are full of dirt. They are full of coal dust. They are full of pollutants.
And Liddell power station, a coal-fired power station—if you’re talking about pollution coming out of a diesel generator, have a look at what 1,200 tonnes of coal an hour being burnt in an old-fashioned power station like Liddell power station looks like. I went to work at Liddell in 1974, when it was only two years old, and it was dirty, polluting and filthy then. You can imagine what it’s like now. In 1972 the Holden Torana was the best-selling car in Australia, followed by the Datsun 180B. Well, that’s what Liddell power station is: it’s the equivalent of a Holden Torana or a Datsun 180B, with the technology that’s in there. It is dirty, it is old, it is polluting, and we need to get jobs for people out of the power stations and into renewable energy and actually make a difference. This government does not have a clue about the real issues facing ordinary workers, ordinary Australians. You would have seen that if you were here during question time. They simply want to attack the union movement because they’ve got no policies, no way forward. (Time expired)
ChamberSenate on 6/09/2017 Item QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE: TAKE NOTE OF ANSWERS – Energy Speaker:Cameron, Sen Doug/ Parliament Transcript used for reporting News