Transcript: Jenny McAllister on the National Energy Guarantee, Women in the Liberal Party and Newspoll

12.10pm | September 10, 2018





SUBJECTS: National Energy Guarantee, Women in the Liberal Party, Newspoll.  

JENNY MCALLISTER: Well, here we are, it’s our first day back in Canberra after a couple of weeks and, of course, it is the first day where Scott Morrison enters the Parliament as the Prime Minister.

But it's a little bit like Groundhog Day because today, like almost every other day for the last five years, the Coalition presents to this place without any energy policy whatsoever.

Mr Morrison has confirmed over the weekend that the NEG is dead. Well that’s all very well, but this is a policy that by the Coalition's own reckoning would have cut $550 off household power bills.

They scrapped that plan and we can only assume that in the absence of any clear policy on energy, household bills are going to go up. This is completely unacceptable. We have had five years of paralysis on energy policy. All of the energy market tells government over and over again that all they require is certainty, and yet we enter this Parliamentary sitting once again with absolutely no certainty about what the Coalition's energy policy is.

The only thing we do know is that it won't deal with emissions reductions. It won't deal with climate change. That is the one detail we are certain of. They say that they continue to be committed to a 26% emissions reduction, but they've got no plan to get there and you have to imagine that at this point, it is merely aspirational.

On the subject of targets which are merely aspirational and have no mechanism behind them, Josh Frydenberg spoke on the weekend about the Liberal's target to have 50% of their caucus women by 2025.

Well let's be clear practically about what that means.

That would require 22 existing MPs and Senators to step down and make way for a woman by 2025 over just two election cycles. There is no plan to meet a target this ambitious and I'll tell you what, they will find it difficult to get women to step up in the current environment. Three women have stepped forward and made claims about the bullying that they have witnessed during the recent leadership spill. Three women. And what is the response from the Government? Absolutely nothing. This is a private matter.

If Mr Morrison knows about bullies in his own party room, he needs to make it very clear, not just privately but publicly, what it is that he intends to do about it.

JOURNALIST: (INAUDIBLE) …the engineers came out the other day and they mentioned a report saying that your policy would actually increase carbon price by 86%. How do you respond to that?

MCALLISTER: We have model after model which indicates from reputable sources, including the AEMO, that under scenarios with more renewables prices will go down. We take our advice from the experts and that's what we have been told consistently over many years.

JOURNALIST: Did you listen to those engineers? Because they’d be the experts.

MCALLISTER: The economists, the people who do the modelling and who know about how the national electricity market works, tell us repeatedly that more renewables means lower prices and that's the basis on which we proceed.


MCALLISTER: We don't spend all of our time obsessing about the polls. We know that the way to operate is to have a strong and united team focused on delivering policies that are relevant and the contrast with the other side couldn't be greater. They are obsessed with one another; we are obsessed on delivering for the Australian people.


MCALLISTER: We’re not obsessed with polls. We're interested in people and that's the difference between us and the other side.

JOURNALIST: Do you think it is possible to get elected on those kind of numbers?

MCALLISTER: We proceed towards the election taking nothing for granted. Our focus is on restoring integrity to the operation of schools and hospitals so that Australian's can rely on them and focusing on creating jobs and raising the standard of living for all Australians. That's our focus going into the election. What the other side worries about is up to them. But I'd say this: the Australian people know when you've got a group of people focused on their own jobs instead of the jobs of ordinary people.