House debates

Wednesday, 23 November 2022

Questions without Notice

Climate Change

2:35 pm

Photo of Chris BowenChris Bowen (McMahon, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Climate Change and Energy) Share this | Hansard source

I thank my honourable friend for his question and for his leadership on matters of climate change. We know, on this side of the House, as other members know, that action on climate change is very urgent. We've had another reminder of that today in the report released by the Minister for Industry and Science and the Minister for the Environment and Water, the State of the climate report, prepared by the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology. We know from that report that heat already kills more Australians than any other natural disaster, and we know already that we are adding one day extra of heatwave every five years. That has terrible implications right across Australia, including in the area I represent. Many people don't have air conditioning, and many elderly people can't deal with an extra day of heatwave. It has very severe health implications.

We know that, if we don't act, the terrible bushfires that our country experienced in 2020 will be the average, the norm, in the 2040s and will be a good result by the 2060s if the world doesn't act to stop global warming. That's why we are acting and acting urgently. I'm pleased to report to the House, for example, that today the other place, the Senate, has passed the final piece of legislation necessary for offshore wind in Australia, the final piece in the jigsaw puzzle, and I look forward to making further announcements about offshore wind in coming weeks—very important announcements. I'm very confident that the Senate will pass our electric vehicle tax cut this week. There is no support from the opposition for a tax cut for electric vehicles, such is their prejudice, but other parties have worked with the government, and we will pass that important legislation, and electric vehicles will be cheaper for firms around the country.

This is what we're doing—getting on with the job. I'm also pleased to report that my friend the Assistant Treasurer has introduced the tax laws amendment bill which will replenish the funds necessary for Rewiring the Nation, to improve transmission across our country, to build the transmission we need to get more renewable energy on. These are all important steps that are necessary and vital, as we know, for Australia to act.

I'm also pleased to inform the House that next week, next Thursday, on behalf of the government, I'll be delivering the nation's first climate change statement, as required under the act we passed, the first climate act to pass in a decade. It is an important opportunity. I will also be tabling the Climate Change Authority's independent advice to the government and updated projections. This is what transparency is about; this is what progress is about—reporting to the House on progress, reporting to the House on challenges, reporting to the House on opportunities. I hope the House comes together at that time so we can all share policies on climate change that are necessary in this country and so the opposition can update the House on their policies and priorities, as we will do. This is an important moment for the House, for the country, the next step in dealing with the most important challenge we have, of climate change.


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