House debates

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Questions without Notice

Climate Change

2:50 pm

Photo of Mark ButlerMark Butler (Port Adelaide, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for the Environment. On Sky News this morning, the minister confirmed that she had now looked at the IPCC report closely. As the minister is aware, the greatest threat facing the Great Barrier Reef is the impact of climate change. What is the IPCC report's conclusion regarding the likely impact of 1.5 degrees and two degrees of warming on the Great Barrier Reef?

2:51 pm

Photo of Melissa PriceMelissa Price (Durack, Liberal Party, Minister for the Environment) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for his question. The government respect the credibility of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and, as we have said in the past, we will consider this report and other relevant information on climate change in our decision-making. The IPCC makes no recommendation to government. What it does is give its view on a variety of things with respect to the environment, including reefs around the world, not just the Great Barrier Reef. It presents a series of model pathways to limit global warming. I might point out that those model pathways include a range of technologies in the energy mix beyond 2050, and, just as Dr Alan Finkel, Australia's Chief Scientist, has said, the debate should not be about technology when we're talking about emissions with respect to climate change.

We on this side are very determined to protect the health of the reef. We are the ones who have invested significantly in the reef. Unlike those opposite, who had it on the watch list, we've got it off the watch list. We are particularly committed to those 64,000 people who rely upon a job with respect to the reef, and those billions of dollars that the reef contributes to our economy. I should think that the people in the member for Herbert's electorate would care about what we are doing for the reef. You would think that. What about the member for Dawson? Do the people in his electorate care about how we are investing in the reef? I think so. The member for Leichhardt cares very deeply about what we are doing about the health of the reef. We will continue to review the IPCC report. The people of regional Queensland know they can trust us. They can't trust that lot.