Independent Senator for Tasmania Jacqui Lambie has welcomed parts of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s National Press Club speech, where he predicted that electricity prices and energy security will be the defining political issues in the year ahead – two years and five months after Senator Lambie made her first Senate speech indicating that energy security and prices should influence all Australian political decision making.
“On Wednesday 3rd of September 2014, I told the Senate in my First Speech that regarding energy and power:
In this place as a Senator I will do my best to vote in and protect Tasmania’s and Australia’s best interests. In order to help determine what is in my state’s and nation’s best interests, I will ask this simple question: how will this legislation or proposal affect our food security, water security, energy security, national security, and job security?
In a deregulated world and free-trade economic environment, if we are to create national wealth, generate more high-tech jobs, and protect Australian workers’ wages then the only solution is for our governments to deliver the cheapest electricity and power in the world to our pensioners, families, industry and entrepreneurs.
“I’m glad that yesterday Prime Minister Turnbull who, at least on energy, has finally seen the light and has begun to understand the strong link between Australian standards of living, business innovation, economic prosperity, job growth, and energy costs and security.
“If he continues on this course, eventually Prime Minister Turnbull will realise that our stupid RET system has artificially increased Australia’s energy costs by $3 billion per year and wrecked our Nation’s energy security, while destroying business innovation, economic prosperity, job growth, and living standards – with no benefit to the environment,” Senator Lambie said.
“No one in their right mind could ever say that forcing our business, families, and pensioners to artificially pay more for their power in comparison with our international competitors, will ever stop global climate change!” Senator Lambie said.
“When I meet with the Prime Minister next Wednesday, I’ll congratulate him – but also suggest that Tony Abbott is right. We should scrap RET and walk away from any international climate agreement, in order to guarantee and protect Australian wages, standards of living, innovation, jobs, and business growth.
“The Greens, most Labor members, and even some Liberals, have tried to convince Australians that they can stop climate change by paying more for their clean electricity and power. This lie has caused massive damage to our economy, businesses, manufacturing, and primary industries.
“Right now our electricity and energy costs are some of the most expensive in the Western world. Australian businesses pay up to three times more for their electricity and power than their competitors in America, Canada, the UK, and Europe. Is it any wonder that tens of thousands of Tasmanian and Australian workers have lost their jobs, while manufacturing businesses close down and our workers’ jobs are exported overseas?
“Dr Thomas Barlow is an Australian research strategist specialising in science and technological innovation. He authored a critically acclaimed book called Between the Eagle and the Dragon: Who is winning the innovation race? Dr Barlow reminds us that: ‘At the moment the US is having an energy revolution. They have cheap energy. The cost of natural gas in the US is about a third of what it was in 2008. And as a consequence we see manufacturing flow back to the US.’
“Dr Barlow also reminds us that the formula for national wealth and prosperity was proven by Great Britain during the Industrial Revolution. Cheap power and relatively high wages in the 18th and 19th centuries caused a perfect financial and social mix which gave entrepreneurs the incentive to develop new technology and machinery to replace manual labour. This enterprise generated massive national wealth and technological advancement and allowed Great Britain to stay great for hundreds of years.
“Australia can use the same formula for national wealth and prosperity in the 21st century. In a deregulated world and free-trade economic environment, if we are to create national wealth, generate more high-tech jobs and protect Australian workers’ wages then the only solution is for our governments to deliver the cheapest electricity and power in the world to our pensioners, families, industry and entrepreneurs.”