House debates

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Questions without Notice

Renewable Energy

2:32 pm

Photo of Damian DrumDamian Drum (Murray, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Bowen interjecting

Mr Morrison interjecting

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The member for Murray will resume his seat. The member for McMahon is warned. I do not know how many times I need to inform the House. The Treasurer will cease interjecting, too. Everyone, including the Speaker, wishes to hear the question. The member for Murray will begin his question again.

Photo of Damian DrumDamian Drum (Murray, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for the Environment and Energy. Will the minister update the House on the benefits for renewable energy in the government's Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill?

Photo of Josh FrydenbergJosh Frydenberg (Kooyong, Liberal Party, Minister for the Environment and Energy) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Murray for his question. Everyone in this place is familiar with his success on the football field before he came into this place, but even he would admit that paying back Labor's debt is harder than winning a premiership. But we, on this side of the House, have a great ruckman in the Treasurer. We have a great full-forward in the finance minister. We have a great captain coach in the Prime Minister and we have the Eddie Betts of the Australian parliament, that nippy forward, the member for Sturt.

The omnibus bill is good news for the renewable energy sector because we have been able to restore $800 million in grants for the renewable energy sector through ARENA while keeping the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation intact. ARENA has already committed more than $1 billion worth of funding in grants, or more than 250 projects. This includes turning biomass into biofuel at Curtin University. This includes a solar thermal project through the ANU. In fact, as the Prime Minister knows, by 2018 more than 60 per cent of solar cell technology around the world will be able to be traced back to research done in Australia. Just last week the Turnbull government oversaw a $92 million solar thermal round by ARENA which funded 12 different projects: six in Queensland, five in New South Wales and one in Western Australia. These 12 projects will generate more than $1 billion of private sector investment, create more than 2,000 jobs and create enough energy to fuel 150,000 homes. When it went out to tender last September, ARENA was only expecting 200 megawatts of power for its $90 million to $100 million. In fact it got 480 megawatts of power, which shows the changes that are taking place in the renewable energy sector.

This government have a 23.5 per cent target for renewable energy by 2020, and we are on track with 15 per cent currently. We have got the right balance between affordable and accessible and reliable energy while we transition to a lower emissions future. We have done all that while paying back Labor's debt—without the cash for the clunkers, without the disastrous carbon tax, without the green loans, without the pink batts and without that Athenian model of democracy, the citizens' assembly.

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The member for Shortland can decide when the member for McMahon starts his question.