House debates

Thursday, 8 September 2022


Treasury Laws Amendment (Electric Car Discount) Bill 2022; Second Reading

10:24 am

Photo of Barnaby JoyceBarnaby Joyce (New England, National Party, Shadow Minister for Veterans' Affairs) Share this | Hansard source

I take the interjection. The point of government is to lead. It is to find things and drive agendas. If all you want to do is be the caravan of polling, then we don't need a government; we can just do it online.

This area is pertinent. If you are going to go to a zero-emission process, there will be this huge requirement that is going to come onto the grid. Look at the peak hour traffic and ask yourself this question: when all these vehicles become electric—which is apparently what you want—how on earth are we going to charge them? They all go to work during the day—and maybe they will have charging facilities or maybe not—and then they go home at night and they are going to charge them up. How is that going to work? You don't have the capacity in the grid to do it.

As even AEMO is saying, we are on the edge of a collapse of the grid. We are on the edge of it not being able to deal with the issues, because our baseload is going off. You have to keep a grid at about 49 hertz for the capacity to stay up. If it goes down, it doesn't just go down for an hour; it can go down for days. If that happens—I think this is something we would both agree—politically, that would be a disaster. We have to make sure that we have the capacity to keep the grid alive.

If you want zero technology, the obvious baseload, zero technology is nuclear. All these countries are not stupid. We are the stupid ones. They are developing the technology, and they will be the beneficiaries. In the United Kingdom, they are looking at this bringing about $250 billion a year into the marketplace—and they want a bite of that cherry, but we do not. We don't make electric cars. We don't make motor vehicles anymore. We don't manufacture many things, and here we have the capacity to go into an area where you have high-paying technical jobs. But, apparently, we don't want to be part of high-paying technical jobs. We've got to import the electric cars and, in due course, we will import the small modular reactors.

It will be an absurdity if you go to Fiji or to Papua New Guinea and see them. You will be able to anywhere around the world and see them. They will be made in factories from South Korea to China, the United Kingdom, Finland, the United States, Argentina—Argentina is going around us—Romania and obviously France, and we're just going to be left behind. We're just going to be left behind, and we're going to be sitting in the chamber saying how stupid Skoda, Rolls-Royce, Hyundai, Hitachi, Westinghouse, General Electric, NuScale, Atkins, Amec and the University of Manchester are. All these other people apparently are so stupid, and we're here saying, 'Oh, no, we're so smart.'


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