MsD’AMBROSIO (Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change) (11:37:36) — I thank the member for Caulfield for his question. He is absolutely wrong on all those counts. The facts speak for themselves. Back in 2014 the market operator called for additional supplies of energy for that summer period under the watch of the previous government and at the time when the Hazelwood power station was still in operation. We are seeing the same tools being put in place this time round for the market operator. The market operator’s role is to ensure that there are sufficient supplies to meet the demand needs of the eastern market for electricity. They are doing that. Yesterday was an example of them being successful in being able to meet the supply demands, and they have given everyone the confidence that that will continue
Mr Southwick — On a point of order, Deputy Speaker, I ask you to bring the minister back to answering the question. The question was specifically: will Victorians be paying more as a result of being asked to shut down their supply, thanks to the failure of this government — yes or no? And how much will that be if the minister would like to elaborate and tell us? And if she does not know that, could she just sit down.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER — The Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change to respond to the question.
Ms D’AMBROSIO — Thanks very much. Can I just say quite clearly that I do not take any lessons from the member for Caulfield, who actually does not understand the system whatsoever. The fact is that the market operator’s role, as they did in the past in 2014, is putting the measures in place to ensure that there is sufficient energy supply to meet the demands for the coming summer. They are doing their job. The question will be about whether there is any activation of those reserves. If that is the case, then of course, as the market operator has made clear, there will be costs that retailers will bear from that.
We are at the beginning of summer. Ultimately the market operator’s role is to ensure that we do have sufficient supplies. They have given all consumers, and they have given governments across the eastern seaboard, the confidence that they have that in hand, and we will look towards the summer to see how that goes. Yesterday was a very important day in demonstration of the market operator doing its job. It ought to be allowed to get on and do just that and ensure that we have got sufficient supplies to meet the demand.