House debates

Wednesday, 22 March 2023


Safeguard Mechanism (Crediting) Amendment Bill 2022; Second Reading

6:26 pm

Photo of Sam RaeSam Rae (Hawke, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

Those opposite will do anything they can to stop the safeguard mechanism bill being voted on. They will continue to disrupt this parliament and its work on a constant basis. As we know, they haven't moved on for the last decade, and they tried to hold Australia back with them. We're back to the same tired old lines that we heard constantly under Tony Abbott. It's the same regressive ways—their obsession with ignoring and trying to discredit the science of climate change and, of course, teaming up with whatever other reprobate group is around at any one moment in order to undermine real progress when it comes to addressing climate change.

As I said at the beginning of this speech, sometimes you turn on the cricket. It's a random channel. It's daytime where you are and night-time where they are, and you need to know whether that live button is there. For those sitting at home, they need the live button, because they turn it on and they see this mob opposite, these Liberals, still arguing against the science of climate change, still fighting against real policy that helps our economy, supports and creates jobs and transitions our economy to a clean climate future. This mob, these Liberals, are still arguing against it. They're arguing against the science of climate change. They're arguing against the policies that we need in order to transition, to keep our economy strong and to create jobs for Australian workers.

The safeguard mechanism is a critical component in reaching our legislated abatement targets. Let's remember that this government—our government, the Albanese Labor government—has a mandate for pursuing these legislated targets. The mandate is from the Australian people, and I know those opposite care little for the views of the Australian people. I know this government in exile over there, with all the arrogance of the born-to-rule mentality, care not for the election—where the Albanese government was thoroughly elected in majority, and they were absolutely smashed at the ballot box.

They not only lost their majority in this House but had a significant number of their seats transferred to the crossbench, to non-coalition members, because their own constituency was so fed up with their regressive approach to policy in this country, including in relation to climate change. And there's no lesson to be learnt, as far as they are concerned. The Australian people are just wrong. As far as they're concerned, when it comes to the views of the people of Hawke, they'll use whatever little trick they can manage to cobble together, in order to suppress and undermine the people of Hawke having their say in this place through me.

The safeguard mechanism is a critical component in carbon abatement and reaching our carbon abatement targets in this country, and they are legislated targets. We voted on it. This House voted on it. This parliament voted on it. You didn't have the numbers then and you don't have the numbers now. There's a reason for it: no-one's with you. The community are not with you. The business sector are not with you. Your constituents are not with you. You have been left behind. You are the dinosaurs of the climate change debate. You are the people who have nothing constructive to add.

Our government, the Albanese Labor government, continues to move forward. We continue to seek compromises and options for working across this parliament, in order to get real action on climate change, in order to protect our economy and in order to create the jobs of the future. This safeguard mechanism is how we do that. You guys came up with the idea! That's the amazing part. This is your policy. You wanted a safeguard mechanism. We are now implementing it, because like everything else that you threw up the flagpole with no intention of following through on, in your time in government, you were incapable of delivering a piece of policy like this.

This government, the Albanese Labor government, is getting on with delivering the safeguard mechanism, because it is a critical component of carbon abatement in this country, of lowering emissions, of transitioning our economy and of creating the jobs of the future. These reforms are expected to save 205 million tonnes of emissions in the period to 2030. That is equivalent to taking two-thirds of Australian cars off the road over the same period—two-thirds of Australian cars gone. That's the level of abatement this mechanism delivers.

It's supported by business. You know business. You guys used to talk to them. You used to work with them. You used to represent them. They won't have anything to do with you these days. But the business sector is on board. The business sector is demanding that this parliament act—as it should have done for the last decade, but you hindered it from doing so—that this parliament deliver certainty so that we can start to invest in an economy of the future, in a clean energy economy, and invest in the jobs that will come with it, rather than maintaining the inertia that you have created, that the previous Liberal government created.

The previous Liberal government did this by failing to move, failing to heed the science and obstructing any progress when it came to transitioning the Australian economy to a clean carbon future. They had grand plans, apparently, for the safeguard mechanism, announcing it in May 2020. That's two years before the election. They had two years—


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