Mr DULUK (Davenport) (12:41): It will be no surprise to those on this side of the house that
I support the motion. What I have found intriguing is every contribution so far from the Labor Party: the Premier, the Treasurer, the member for Lee, the Deputy Premier, and of course the member for Kaurna, who is auditioning for the Treasurer's role for after the next election. The opposition benches we were all given a history lesson, and this history lesson is going on and on and is full of inaccuracies.
When the lesson cannot be inaccurate, it gets personal, especially from the member for Lee.
We heard his contribution today, and it was a contribution from a man who is fighting for his own job because he wants to be in the top job. He knows he is getting pressure from minister Malinauskas who is going to come down here and take his job. He is out there pretending that he is talking to his community, that he is doorknocking every Saturday.
We know that if he were doorknocking every Saturday, he would put it on Facebook like the
Speaker does, who puts his letters in his basket on his pushbike and lets everyone know that he is out doorknocking. I have not seen that contribution on social media once from the member for Lee, so of course we know he is not out there doorknocking. When he does, he is doorknocking those hard Labor voters in the Port, saying, 'What do you think of Steven Marshall?' Of course, they are going to say the Leader of the Opposition is doing a poor job.
He is not at all, he is doing a wonderful job. He is doing a great job because he
is out there fighting for South Australians and he is out there putting motions like this on the table that we are debating today in this parliament. As the history lesson goes on, nothing is mentioned about Pelican Point. We know that if ETSA had not been privatised, then Pelican Point would never have come online because it was private investment that built Pelican Point, and of course it is gas which the Treasurer, especially, talks about as the panacea for our energy needs. Privatisation is not the problem in this debate.
However, that is not what I want to talk about so much today. What I want to talk about is the
human face of this problem that is facing South Australia. We have not once heard from those opposite about the human face of the crisis. They have not talked about the people in their electorates who have been hurt by this government's energy failure. We have not heard about the small businesses in their electorates that have been affected by this energy failure. We have not heard of Whyalla that is hurting because of this energy crisis in South Australia. They are too embarrassed to get up and talk about their communities and their electorates that are hurting.
Why does the Treasurer not come to the house and talk about people who have breathing
difficulties and are on respirators being cut off when there is an electricity blackout? They are not prepared to talk about that because they do not know to fix the problem. They do not have the solutions and they never will.
South Australia is suffering, and people are sick of the blame game. If you listen to talkback
radio or read the newspapers, they are sick of the blaming, but all the Labor Party can do, all this government can do after 15 years of tired hard Labor, is point to the picture of Sir Thomas Playford— and we all venerate Sir Thomas Playford—and hark back to what it was like in the 1950s. I personally am a bit of a 1950s boy as well in terms of my politics. He was a wonderful leader, but the Labor Party harking back to him and trying to pretend that the Liberal Party somehow has decimated the legacy of Sir Thomas Playford is an absolute disgrace.
Sir Thomas Playford looks down with shame on the Labor Party. When the member for
Kaurna, the member for Lee and the member for West Torrens invoke Sir Thomas Playford, let it be known that he would never, ever support any of the decisions that this Labor government has taken over the last 15 years.
Getting back to the human element of this energy crisis, small business operators cannot
operate their business when there is a crisis. The Coromandel Valley fish and chip shop has lost stock time and time again after a blackout. Banana Boys Mitcham, a fruit and veg shop where they make their own dips, had to throw out $8,000 worth of stock when there was a blackout. There is a Mitcham Square newsagency owner who calls his staff in to open. When there is a blackout, there is no trade, but of course he still has to pay his staff's wages.
There is the Magarey Orchard in my electorate that needs to invest in diesel-generated
backup and solar panels because of the unreliable electricity in South Australia, and that is a real cost that is affecting our society. When the baker cannot sell his pies, he throws them out. When the butcher cannot sell his meat because of a blackout, he throws it out, and that leads to a lack of confidence in our society.
As the member for Finniss mentioned, we have had Glenn Cooper talking about how
electricity policy affects his business. An iconic South Australian business, Coopers employs
hundreds of South Australians and produces a product that is enjoyed by many. It is the lead product of the Fringe Festival at the moment. Glenn Cooper says government ideology and lack of ability to deal with energy in South Australia is the problem.
The blame game needs to stop. We need to look at what we can do collectively to solve this
problem. It is not just a problem for Canberra: it is a problem for all of us in the nation, as we are on the grid. We all know that the Labor Party is not going to nationalise energy. It is not going to happen; it is not reality. I would love to see the energy minister come clean with what his plan is for South Australia, because I bet he has no plan for South Australia.
We on this side of the house have talked about many policies and what we can do to create
consistency in the grid, because that is what we need. We need consistency so that business has consistency and can make its investment decisions. At the moment, we have ad hoc decisions from this Labor government that create inconsistency in the market—a market that is heavily subsidised.
When you have a market that is heavily subsidised and inconsistent, then businesses cannot plan.
South Australian business needs confidence so that it can, for the next five, 10 or 15 years,
understand what the market will be doing, so it can make the right investment decisions. If it cannot do that, then it will lead to failures, as we have seen at the moment, because of this Labor government. When we see failures in the energy market, we see mums and dads getting hurt. We see people who are living at the margins on disability support getting hurt. People who cannot afford to get off the grid get hurt when the grid becomes more expensive, and this cost is all because of those opposite.
This Labor government that pretends to look after the worker and pretends to look after the
marginalised are actually doing the most damage to the community who they pretend and purport to represent. It is only we on this side who have the solutions that will lead to stability in the grid and a better economic society for all of us.