House debates

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Matters of Public Importance

Climate Change

4:15 pm

Photo of Melissa McIntoshMelissa McIntosh (Lindsay, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

The Morrison government are meeting our emissions targets while keeping our economy strong. It is important to the people of Lindsay that we also focus on lowering the cost of living, ensuring that we have lower power prices. This is what's important to my community. Our government has a strong track record of meeting and beating our emissions targets while keeping our economy strong and keeping people in jobs. This is what is important to my community of Lindsay.

Emissions per person and the emissions intensity of the economy continue to fall and are the lowest levels in nearly three decades, and we're investing in new technologies. Just last week, the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction announced a $4 million investment into a wave energy technology trial in Tasmania for the installation of a pilot-scale 200 kilowatt wave energy converter off the coast of King Island. The $12.3 million project harnesses the rise and fall of water levels to generate electricity. Our government is also supporting the development of an Australian-first waste-to-energy project in Queensland. The Logan City Council project will see a wastewater treatment plant that will have the capacity to transition water into energy, with by-products going to the agricultural sector. The Morrison government has committed $6.2 million in funding towards a project which is another great example of investing in new technologies that play a role in lowering emissions and lowering power prices.

While we are focusing on emissions reduction, we are also concentrating on easing the cost of living and lowering power prices. A recent report commissioned by the Australian Energy Regulator, Affordability in retail energy markets September 2019, shows electricity bills falling across all regions for households on the median market offer. The report also shows that since the introduction of the government's default market offer price safety net on 1 July there have been reductions in both standing offers and high-price market offers. The Australian Energy Regulator makes clear that competition is alive and well in the market, with smaller retailers taking on the big three by providing cheaper offers. This is good news for people struggling to pay their power bills. The best electricity market offers are lower than they were in October 2018. The cheapest residential market offers are down three per cent, while small-business offers are 17 per cent lower.

We are on track to overachieve on our 2020 emissions target by 367 million tonnes. This is a turnaround from the emissions debt that we inherited from the last Labor government. Through our $3.5 billion Climate Solutions Package, we have mapped out, down to the last tonne, how we're going to meet the 328 tonnes of abatement needed to meet our Paris targets. We have laid out how we will deliver our 2030 target 11 years ahead of schedule to the last tonne. Central to this is the $3.5 billion Climate Solutions Package, supporting farmers, businesses and Indigenous communities; reducing the greenhouse gases through the Climate Solutions Fund; building on the success of the of the Emissions Reduction Fund, which has purchased 192 million tonnes of emissions reductions since 2015; and bringing new electricity generation projects online, such as Snowy 2.0 and the Battery of the Nation. Not only are we going above and beyond our international commitments; we're also making a substantial contribution to reducing global emissions through our export sectors. The Morrison government has confirmed we will reach the 2020 Large-scale Renewable Energy Target ahead of time as we continue to support record investment in renewable energy.

The Clean Energy Regulator has advised that the 6,400 megawatts of additional large-scale wind and solar generation needed to meet our 2020 target has now been commissioned. This has been achieved in less than two years, because we see this action as a priority of the government to explore new ways to deliver affordable, reliable energy and to keep our economy strong. In 2018 Australia led the world in clean energy investment, with more than double the per-capita investment of countries like France, Germany and the United Kingdom. With the Renewable Energy Target set to be exceeded, investment is not slowing down, and this is important to create jobs. Only the Morrison government has a plan to deliver affordable, 24/7, reliable power, keeping our economy strong and ensuring jobs while meeting our emissions reduction commitments.

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