Monday, 26 October 2020
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. Last week, Joe Biden said, 'Global warming is an existential threat to humanity, and we're told by all the leading scientists in the world that we don't have much time. We're going to pass the point of no return within the next eight to 10 years.' Also last week, our own Bureau of Meteorology confirmed in Senate estimates that, with current policies, including yours, we will pass this point of no return, with Australia on track for a catastrophic 4.4 degrees of warming during the lifetime of today's primary school students. Why are you sticking with Trump-like 2030 targets that cross the point of no return and threaten millions of Australian lives? Prime Minister, why won't you protect Australia's children?
When our government make commitments, we meet them. When we make commitments, we meet them. I am asked about these commitments. I recall that, at the 2013 election, in opposition, the Liberal and Nationals went to that election and we committed to a 2020 emissions reduction target.
Mr Perrett interjecting—
There was seven years between that election and 2020, but we set out our plan to meet that 2020 target. And, in government, that's exactly what we've done. We haven't just met it; we've beaten it. We've smashed it. We smashed that target.
Mr Hill interjecting—
This is what Liberal and National governments do. We set out a plan to achieve a target and then we go and achieve it, whether it was 1.5 million Australians, prior to COVID-19 recession, that were able to get into work, or delivering the tax reform which ensured that Australians could keep more of what they earned. All of these commitments we set out, and we have steadily gone about meeting them. And the same is true for 2030. We have set out and stuck to our 2030 target, and we will meet it and we will beat it. That is what we will do, because that is our form. We will do it by investing in the technology that is transformational and by ensuring that we are accessing a lower emission form of energy, in particular gas, to ensure that we can meet our commitments.
That is what is clear on the part of the government. What is unclear is what the policy of those opposite is. They cannot commit to a 2030 target. They can't even tell you what it is. They talk about something that's more than a generation away, and Australians deserve to know what their target would be in 2030 if those opposite were to go to the next election and seek to be elected by the Australian people. We did it in 2013—we were very clear about it, and we hit it. We hit the target and beat it. This Leader of the Labor Party can't even sign up to an emissions reduction commitment in 2030. I'll tell you why he can't do it: I could go through those opposite and get at least 30 different targets from amongst them. I could get 30 different targets. When it comes to this Leader of the Labor Party's commitment on this issue, it's a blank space. It's an absolutely blank space.