The backbencher, who was speaking in parliament during a motion on the number of child drownings in Australia, said renewable energy policies would drive up the cost of electricity, which meant public pools would raise the prices of swimming lessons and therefore fewer children would be taught to swim.
"We cannot ignore that fact in this parliament that there are policies being put in by governments, both state and federal, that are increasing the costs of electricity, and by doing so we increase the cost of swimming lessons. That is a fact," said Kelly, to howls of condemnation from the opposition.
Kelly cited a local swimming centre operator who had complained to him about the cost of electricity under the previous government.
"He looked at the increases that were projected on electricity costs and he projected under previous policies if we allowed electricity costs to increase in this country, he would be paying... an extra $100,000 in electricity costs up to the year 2020."