Monday, 2 December 2019
Questions without Notice
My question is addressed to the Prime Minister. Malcolm Turnbull has told the Prime Minister's colleagues, including the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts and the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, that the government's climate change policy is incoherent and is holding back billions of dollars of investment. Does the Prime Minister agree with Mr Turnbull that it's time government members started acting like 'real liberals' and took effective action on climate change?
An opposition member interjecting—
I take the interjection from the member opposite who said, 'Emissions are going up.' Well, she's misleading, as the Leader of the Opposition did before question time, because emissions have fallen in the 2018-19 year. That is the official evidence which has been provided by the Quarterly update of Australia's National Greenhouse Gas Inventory. That shows that, in the year to June 2019, economy-wide emissions fell 0.1 per cent, or 0.4 million tonnes, to 532 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. Emissions are now lower than they were when the coalition government came to office, and they've declined each year since 2016-17. Emissions are 12.9 per cent below 2005 levels, and emissions per capita are at their lowest level in 29 years. And I note that in 2018-19 electricity generation emissions fell for the third year, down 1.2 per cent.
We continue to implement the policies that were first commenced by Prime Minister Turnbull when it came to emissions reduction, and of course that has most significantly included getting on with the project of Snowy 2.0, which has been brought to a final investment decision by this government. We continue to proceed with that policy, as we do with the Climate Solutions Fund, which will mean that we'll meet our Paris targets but, importantly, we will meet the Kyoto 2020 targets and we will be able to beat the commitments that we made—I correct the record: the commitments that the Labor Party made. When we came to government, they were 700 million tonnes off achieving those targets. Under our policies, we will have ensured that we beat the Kyoto 2020 targets by more than 360 million tonnes. Our policies are working.
On the other side, they cannot say whether they are still for the policy they took to the last election. They've had six months to deliberate. I tell you what, Mr Speaker: if you want to get rid of a policy you don't like, you can do it in week one. This Leader of the Opposition has been holding onto those tax hikes ever since the election, just like he's been holding onto the 45 per cent emissions reduction target. He just can't let it go.