2 July 2019
JOURNALIST: [inaudible] gas prices. What can you offer?
ANGUS TAYLOR: Well, it's important we do make sure all Australians get a fair price on energy, both electricity and gas from the first of July - yesterday - we've seen big reforms in the electricity market, which we've made a price cap in the electricity market and of course, we want to see a fair price for gas. The key to this is we need more supply in the market place as fast as possible, particularly in the southern states. The Victorian Government has a moratorium on gas developments, that needs to go. It must go. The Victorian Government, by prohibiting new supply into market place is raising the price of gas for all Victorians. It is an unacceptable policy and it needs to change.
JOURNALIST: Can you see a situation where you will see a gas reserve in South Australia like we've seen in Western Australia?
ANGUS TAYLOR: Well, we need more supply. I mean the Victorian Government for many years now has banned new gas and all Victorians are now paying the price for that. It's as simple as that, now that moratorium must be lifted as soon as possible.
JOURNALIST: Your colleagues in New South Wales haven't done much better.
ANGUS TAYLOR: Well, Victoria's where the problem is the biggest.
JOURNALIST: But New South Wales only supplies two per cent of their own needs.
ANGUS TAYLOR: Victoria is the biggest problem because it's the furthest from the alternative gas which is up in Queensland, and the ban has been in place for a long time and Victoria is the biggest user of household gas of all the eastern states. So it is absolutely crucial that we see this moratorium lifted, we see more supply into the market and we will see lower prices as a result of that.
JOURNALIST: But Centre Alliance aren't going to, you know, support the tax cuts on the basis that you're calling on Victoria to lift the moratorium. So what will the Federal Government offer?
ANGUS TAYLOR: Well, I am saying that that's what needs to happen. Now, the Federal Government has already made significant moves on gas markets. We've put in the domestic gas security mechanism; this has definitely brought the wholesale price down substantially from what were unfair pricing practices we saw in the past. We've seen a substantial reduction of about 50 per cent from those price peaks in the wholesale markets. But we're now seeing the impacts in the households in the southern states particularly in Victoria, right now of years of preventing development; that must end.
JOURNALIST: What about the ADGSM? The gas security mechanism?
ANGUS TAYLOR: The domestic gas security mechanism.
JOURNALIST: Can you see that changing?
ANGUS TAYLOR: Well, we put it in place a couple of years ago, we continue to monitor its effectiveness. It has had a big impact on bringing down wholesale gas prices, there's no question about that and we continue to monitor it.
JOURNALIST: So you considering potentially tinkering with it?
ANGUS TAYLOR: Well, we've always said we'll continue to monitor that system to make sure it's working effectively, it's crucial that it does. But, as I say, the single biggest solution for getting lower gas prices in the states where households are using the most gas is to get more supply into the market place. We need that Victorian moratorium lifted.
JOURNALIST: And a final question, can I just ask you? There are people who are saying well, you know, if we get the tax cuts in our pocket that's all well and good, but if power prices keep going up, it really doesn't make that much of a difference. Do you understand that argument?
ANGUS TAYLOR: Well, it is absolutely crucial we get these tax cuts through. I mean this is crucial, $1080 an individual, over $2000 for couples, this is important tax relief. People voted for it, it's time for it to happen and Labor needs to get on board and, you know, there's many wise heads in the Labor Party that know this is the right answer.
JOURNALIST: Good on you. Thanks.
ANGUS TAYLOR: Thanks. Good day.