National Energy Bill Relief Fund

16 May 2024

That this House:

(1) Condemns the previous Government for its record on privatising essential State-owned energy assets, which has put pressure on New South Wales families struggling with the cost of living.

(2) Commends the Government for its joint $966 million investment with the Commonwealth Government in the National Energy Bill Relief fund.

(3) Notes that 10,210 households in the Blue Mountains are each eligible to receive $500 and eligible small businesses will each receive $650 this financial year as a result of the fund.


Once again, Opposition members have failed to turn up to debate a very important issue. When it comes to the cost-of-living crisis—

Mr Edmond Atalla: They've given up.

Mr NATHAN HAGARTY: You are right—they have given up. When it comes to supporting the people of New South Wales during a cost-of-living crisis, Opposition members have given up. They did not show up to debate a previous motion moved by the member for Blue Mountains because they do not care about essential workers. Now they clearly do not care about the cost-of-living crisis. Opposition members do not care about bringing energy bills down because, if they did, they would be in the Chamber for this debate. I commend the member for Blue Mountains for moving this motion. It highlights the stark difference between those on this side of the Chamber and those opposite. We are trying to fix their problems and fix the cost-of-living crisis in this State.

Of course, bringing down energy bills and fixing that problem is not something the New South Wales Government can do on its own; it involves all levels of government. We are working with the Federal Government. The motion mentions the joint $966 million investment with the Commonwealth Government in the national Energy Bill Relief Fund. Many people in my electorate have thanked me and thanked the Government for that relief. They know that only one party will tackle a cost-of-living crisis: the Labor Party. Just under one million households are receiving rebates. I encourage anyone who has not yet applied for the rebate to do so now. This is an important rebate and it will help.

It comes on top of the existing rebates. Some 1.6 million households are getting $500 in support. It is not just households—300,000 small businesses will get $650. All in all, there is a total spend of just under $1 billion. It means that families, in particular, can save that money and perhaps put it towards the kids' soccer fees, netball fees or tutoring. It will help families get ahead. The cost-of-living crisis is biting right across the State, but it is particularly biting in my electorate of Leppington. Residents have a high amount of mortgage stress—and let us not forget the tolls; we have to pay a lot of tolls. Not only did those opposite privatise our essential State-owned energy assets, they privatised the tolls. But in the same way we are fixing the cost-of-living crisis by bringing down energy bills, we are also helping with tolls. I encourage people to also apply for the toll rebate.

There is a theme emerging: Opposition members do not turn up. They do not care. The Government is providing the rebates and bringing down the cost of living. I will finish on this note. When it comes to bringing down the cost of living—when it comes to tackling the issues in this State—there is only one side that will do it, and it is this side. For those who are fans of hip-hop, I will quote the words of its modern-day saviour and prophet, Mr Kendrick Lamar, who said, "They not like us." When it comes to the cost of living, they not like us. When it comes to tackling tolls, they not like us. When it comes to bringing down energy costs, they not like us.