Speech - House of Representatives

MERYL SWANSON: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories. How is the Albanese Labor Government investing in regional Australia and easing the cost of living pressures on regional Australians, the ones that they face. What policies has the government rejected for regional Australia?

SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I give the call to the Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories

KRISTY MCBAIN: Thank you Mr Speaker. I want to thank the Member for Paterson for that question. An amazing fighter for her local community, a community in Port Stephens that will be now receiving an extra $3 million under Roads to Recovery, bringing their five-year funding to $6.86 million. On this side of the House, we believe in assisting every regional community with better roads, not just some. In the last two years, I've travelled across Australia and I've spoken to many communities about cost of living pressures and it's why this government is taking action. 

In five days we will see real cost of living relief provided to regional Australians, with the average taxpayer receiving $1,888. That is how you deliver cost of living relief, not by pushing up power prices with nuclear reactors. Mr Speaker, on this side of the House we know power prices are a serious issue for regional Australians. That's why we're working hard to create a reliable and realistic energy future. Our reliable renewables plan is the only plan supported by experts to deliver clean, reliable and resilient energy that the Australians of this country deserve. 

Mr speaker, on this side of the House, in only a few short days’ time we'll be taking $300 off power bills, but we see the Leader of the Opposition will take about two decades to serve up the most expensive form of energy that there is. 

CSIRO figures show us that this is the most expensive form of energy. It is up to eight times more expensive than firmed renewables. While we are delivering energy security, they are delivering press releases. While we are out talking to regional Australians, they are talking to themselves. 

Those opposite put out a plan, but it is probably better referred to as a pipe dream. They didn't even bother to call the Mayors where those seven reactors would be hosted. They are pushing off action into the never never. In a complete contrast, Labor is delivering a plan to put regional Australia at the heart of our Future Made in Australia, backed by $22.7 billion of investments in the budget to unlock economic opportunities across industries. 

Industries like green metals, low carbon fuels, critical minerals and clean energy manufacturing. A plan that uses local skills and supports making more things in our own backyard and invests in our local workforce. 

That's how you deliver growth for regional communities, not waiting for another decade to tick by with delays and excuses for a new power source, only to have to pay more for it. We are serious about delivering cost of living relief, unlike those opposite, and we're doing it by delivering tax cuts and energy reform now, not by pushing up power prices and delivering nuclear actors in decades to come.