Doorstop Interview Parliament House, Canberra
28 May 2019
Subject: Energy, Environment Protection
ANGUS TAYLOR: Well we've been very clear all along. We strongly support the coal industry in Queensland and across Australia. We think it's an important industry for this country and certainly a very important industry for regional Queensland. We want to see it succeed. We've approved the Adani coal mine - the Carmichael Coal Mine - it is now crucial for the State Government in Queensland, get on with the job and make the approval so we can continue to see investment and prosperity in regional Queensland.
JOURNALIST: Minister, do you plan to do anything in the energy sector to reduce emissions?
ANGUS TAYLOR: We are absolutely doing, we've laid out a $3.5 billion Climate Solutions Package. 328 million tonnes of emissions reduction. We know from December last year, that's what's required to meet out international obligations. We've met our Kyoto One obligations easily. We'll exceed our Kyoto Two obligations in 2020. And with that 328 million tonnes of abatement laid out in the Climate Solutions Package, we'll meet our Paris obligations.
JOURNALIST: Minister, are you willing to look at any compromise with the Opposition? I know you were saying today, bipartisan support, are you looking to move on the 26 per cent at all? Is there any leeway?
ANGUS TAYLOR: We've just been through an election. We won that election, and now we're getting on with the job. It's about delivery, and that is what the Australian people want. They want us to get on and deliver. It's now for the Labor Party to decide where they sit on these policies. But our policies going into the election were clear and we intend to get on and deliver on those policies.
JOURNALST: What's being done to resolve the unrest amongst your Nationals' colleagues over the ministry line-up?
ANGUS TAYLOR: That's a question for the National Party. I'm a member of the Liberal Party. But look, what I will say, is this is a fantastic new ministry. It's a mix of continuity and new members. I think it will be a very, very effective frontbench in a very, very effective Government.
JOURNALIST: [Inaudible] marketplace, will the marketplace ever be such that we'll have a coal-fired power station in Australia?
ANGUS TAYLOR: Well that's a question for the marketplace, and it is the point you made and I accept that point. But what I would say is coal will continue to play an important role as an export industry for Australia, in our electricity sector. It's about balance, it's about balance, and ultimately, we took to the election an approach here which is a balanced one. We are seeing record levels of investment in renewables right now and in the coming years. But we do need balance in the system of gas, and coal, as well as renewables, hydro, Snowy 2.0, that mix allows us to put downward pressure on electricity prices, energy costs for Australian households, hardworking small business, and of course, those crucial industries that rely on affordable energy for their prosperity and success.
JOURNALIST: So it's possible that we may have a coal fired power station?
ANGUS TAYLOR: Well, balance is the key. Balance is the key here, and we will continue to focus on a balanced approach.
JOURNALIST: Will you underwrite one?
ANGUS TAYLOR: We've been very clear that underwriting is a crucial part of the Coalition's policies here. We've got four projects - a balanced set of projects from across a range of states with a range of different fuel sources. And now we'll work quickly to get on and bring those projects to fruition, bring more supply and competition into the market to put downward pressure on electricity prices because that's what Australian households want, and that's what is crucial for our energy intensive industries.
JOURNALIST: Will we see lower power prices by the end of the year?
ANGUS TAYLOR: Absolutely, absolutely. In fact, from 1 July, Australian consumers of electricity will see significant change. Those who aren't able to negotiate a better price, who are not in a position to get on the phone and spend an enormous amount of time on the phone to get a better price, will see a reduction in their prices, a reduction in standing offers, significant reductions in key states. And they will also see a single benchmark price against which they'll be able to negotiate whatever offers are given to them. Thank you very much.