Tuesday, 7 February 2023

Questions without notice

State Electricity Commission


State Electricity Commission

David HODGETT (Croydon) (14:19): My question is to the Minister for the State Electricity Commission. Victorians are facing energy bill increases of up to $1000 this year, adding further pressure to already stretched household budgets. By what date will the government’s SEC plan actually reduce power bills for Victorian families?

Lily D’AMBROSIO (Mill Park – Minister for Climate Action, Minister for Energy and Resources, Minister for the State Electricity Commission) (14:20): I thank the member for their question, and I am absolutely delighted to take this question because we have a great record here on this side –

Members interjecting.

The SPEAKER: Leader of the Opposition and the Premier, I would like to hear the minister.

Lily D’AMBROSIO: I think you just need to get your people to understand how to spell your last name, John, I think that is your challenge at the moment.

The SEC is absolutely going to be about government-owned renewable energy. Let me be really clear: we have not wasted a single day in government to reduce the pressures that every Victorian is facing because of increasing energy bills, absolutely. The power saving bonus right now, today, is available to Victorians to be able to get the $250 power saving bonus. From March there will be another $250 power saving bonus available to every single Victorian right across the state – 1.2 million Victorians have already got it. We know that the bonanza in jobs and energy creation that the SEC will drive – 59,000 jobs – will be driven by the involvement of a publicly owned State Electricity Commission in this state. Creating 59,000 –

David Hodgett: On a point of order, Speaker, the minister is debating the question. I asked a very specific question for the date, and I ask you to bring the minister back to answering that question.

The SPEAKER: The minister was being relevant to the question.

Lily D’AMBROSIO: Thank you, Speaker. Can I make it really clear: every single day of this government is about reducing the cost-of-living pressures on Victorians – the power saving bonus, not selling off our energy assets for overseas profits, where $23 billion could have come back to Victorians to reinvest in the energy system and put downward pressure on bills. There are some in this Parliament that are absolutely addicted to privatisation. We are about bringing back the SEC. We know that the more energy that we can create, renewable energy, and putting downward pressure on bills, putting downward pressure on our emissions, creating 59,000 jobs and all of the local supply chain and the 6000 apprenticeships and traineeships is about reducing the cost of living every single day. We are absolutely proud of bringing back the SEC, the SEC that –

Members interjecting.

Lily D’AMBROSIO: I think those opposite really have to have a look at the facts –

James Newbury: On a point of order, Speaker, the standing orders do require the minister to be direct, and at 3 minutes in we are nowhere near a date, and Victorians are nowhere near knowing the date at which their commitment will be delivered. The date. The date, Minister. Direct – the date.

Members interjecting.

The SPEAKER: Order! The minister is being relevant to the question that was asked.

Members interjecting.

The SPEAKER: Order! I have ruled on the point of order.

Mary-Anne Thomas: On a point of order, Speaker, it is quite difficult to hear the minister make her response here in this house because of the unrelenting muttering and disorderly conduct by the Leader of the Opposition, who did say that he was going to come in here with new standards, and yet he has disrespectfully spoken throughout the minister’s contribution. I ask you to remind the Leader of the Opposition that he should be setting standards that he expects those on his backbench to follow.

James Newbury: On the point of order, Speaker, points of order are not an opportunity to just slight members of the opposition, as they are so keen to do throughout question time. I ask you to rule the point of order out of order.

Members interjecting.

The SPEAKER: Order! The member for Malvern! I remind all members about being respectful in the chamber, of not speaking over members who are on their feet. It is really disrespectful. I am having trouble hearing the responses to the questions. I ask you all to come to order when members are on their feet. Has the minister concluded?

Lily D’AMBROSIO: Thank you, Speaker. Just finally in my comments, I think Victorians made their judgement in November about which side of politics is on their side and not the side of the greedy gas producers and the fossil fuel industry that those opposite went off and had secret discussions with during the election campaign to take more money out of Victorians’ pockets –

Daniel Andrews: To frack the whole place up.

Lily D’AMBROSIO: That is exactly right. This is one thing for sure: the SEC is back. The SEC will be enshrined in the constitution, and by doing that we will be delivering lower prices for Victorians, we will be delivering cleaner energy and we will be delivering 59,000 jobs. Victorians made their judgement about whose side is on the side of Victorians, and that is this side of the house. Every single day – yesterday, today and tomorrow – our focus is on cost-of-living pressures. We deliver what we say we will, and the SEC is back.