Federation Chamber BILLS Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2012-2013 Consideration in Detail

Mr HUSIC (Chifley—Government Whip) (16:44): I want to pick up on a number of things. The member for Flinders referred to Western Sydney and my home state of New South Wales and what is going to be happening there with power prices. He referred to the fact that power prices will increase by 18 per cent. I think it is important to state that more than half of that is not due to the carbon tax or carbon price but, rather, has a lot to do with the decisions that have been made as a result of approval given by IPART to the pricing movements requested by state owned corporations, which are the responsibility of state governments. I do not recall that there has been any move to provide any sort of household assistance to cover for the increases to power prices that the state owned corporations have had approved through state based regulators.

I understand that there is a household assistance package that will cover households as a result of any move to introduce a carbon price from 1 July, as opposed to what is happening due to the state owned corporations. On top of that, there has been a very active scare campaign about the impact on councils in New South Wales as a result of the introduction of the carbon price which I would like to get some clarity on. So the first thing is to get clarity on the impact, particularly in Western Sydney, of the carbon price on power prices for households. The second thing is the impact on rates and council operations in Western Sydney.

The third thing I want to get clarity on follows from an opportunity I had to visit De Bortoli Wines, which has a distribution centre based in Western Sydney. They have been the beneficiary of assistance to help them shift their operations to a more sustainable footing. I was very impressed when I went out to Glendenning on Friday and met the New South Wales manager of De Bortoli Wines who outlined the types of measures that have been taken to move to a more sustainable footing and use their energy more efficiently. While there has been a lot of focus on the carbon price itself, there has not been enough focus on what measures are being taken by businesses and industry to make themselves much more sustainable, to use energy more efficiently in the way they conduct their affairs. I would like to know, particularly from a Western Sydney focus, what other businesses are able to do and what assistance they are able to tap into to find more energy efficient ways to operate and thereby reduce their own costs.

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Ed Husic MP
Federal Labor Member for Chifley

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