Anthony Albanese pushes Australians to get off the gas and switch to electricity after making a deal with the Greens
Parliamentarians from all sides of politics are being urged to sit on the ‘right side’ of the energy debate when the opportunity comes to vote on measures aimed at lowering power bills.
Both houses of parliament will meet for an extraordinary sitting to debate the federal government’s proposal to cap gas at $12 a gigajoule, introduce a mandatory code of conduct for the gas market and roll out power bill support for welfare recipients.
Parliament is preparing to vote on the government’s proposed energy bill relief measures
While Labor has a majority in the lower house, the Greens and independent senator David Pocock confirmed they would side with the government in the Senate.
In exchange for the Greens’ support, the government has agreed to an additional support package in next year’s budget to help low-income households and businesses switch from gas to electricity.
The package could see households offered concessional loans to switch gas hot-water systems, or appliances such as ovens and heaters, to electric alternatives.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers has urged all MPs to be on the ‘right side’ of solving the nation’s energy woes.
The package could see households offered concessional loans to switch gas hot-water systems, or appliances such as ovens and heaters, to electric alternatives
‘Today coalition MPs around the country have a choice: they can vote for cheaper power prices and more household assistance for families and businesses doing it tough or they can vote for higher energy prices and no help for families,’ he said.
‘It’s that simple. There’s still a chance for reasonable, right-thinking members of the coalition to stand up to Peter Dutton and make sure they’re on the right side of this issue.’
The treasurer encouraged all MPs to ‘do the right thing by their constituents’ and vote on the measures to address the energy crisis.
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton said the government was trying to politically wedge the coalition by combining laws to cap prices and provide power bill support.
He said the opposition would support a separate bill to provide relief to families, but did not support a price cap because it would cause Australian consumers to pay more for electricity.
‘We do want to see support for families, we do want to see a reduction in energy prices … The plan that they’ve cobbled together now is all about electricity prices frankly going up,’ Mr Dutton told reporters in Brisbane.
‘(The government) continue to put these thought bubbles out there and they’re putting it all together in a rushed fashion which is going to end up in a real mess and Australian consumers will pay the price.’
The opposition leader said the coalition hadn’t yet seen the proposed legislation, but Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen rejected this claim.