Tuesday, 1 December 2015
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Treasurer. The government has already cut almost a billion dollars from clean energy and public good R&D and still plans to axe Australia's leading clean energy agencies, ARENA and the CEFC. If you really want us to believe the government has travelled down the road to Damascus on the way to Paris, instead of ripping out another $23 billion from clean energy research, development and investment, will you commit, here and now, to retaining the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and doubling their budgets?
I am glad to see that the Greens and Labor are, once again, in a very strong alliance on these issues. There is a very strong alliance between the Greens and Labor when it comes to these issues, when it comes to economic policy and when it comes to how money should just be spent willy-nilly well off into the future. There is a strong bond between Labor and the Greens on these issues—a bond which will never be broken, I suspect.
But when it comes to the matters that the member has raised, the government's policy remains exactly as we have presented it to the Senate and we have no plans to change that. What we have done is: we have gone down the path of actually meeting our Kyoto Mark 1 targets. Australia is meeting those targets. It will meet that target, and we are going to that conference in Paris with a target of 26 to 28 per cent, which is a measured, responsible, calibrated response to the challenges that we face.
There is an alternative proposal, which I know the Greens would be very interested in—and I suspect they wrote the crib notes for the opposition on what it should be—with a 45 per cent reduction in emissions. That is what those opposite are proposing, egged on by the Greens. What we see from those opposite, when we come to this, when it comes to the economy is: some of us in this place will remember the older computer game, Pac-Man; the opposition and the Greens, when it comes to this issue, are like a pacman, just going around gobbling up jobs, gobbling up the economy and gobbling up the budget. Do you know what happens at the end of Pac-Man? It is game over—and that is what it would be for the economy if you were ever let near it again.