Tuesday, 25 May 2021
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. Your government is insisting on wasting $600 million of public money on a gas power plant that doesn't stack up at a time of record debt and that has been rejected by the market. Yesterday the government quietly tabled an instrument to drill for oil and gas in the Beetaloo basin, despite the International Energy Agency stating no new oil and gas projects can occur if we are to keep global warming to below 1.5 degrees. Is your government having a bet each way and gaslighting the international community and the Australian public by saying it wants to get to net zero as soon as possible? (Time expired)
The government have made it very clear that we see gas as an important transition fuel as we go along on our path to get to net zero as soon as possible and preferably by 2050. The path we're on is not going to sacrifice the jobs and the livings of Australians all around this country. We believe it can be achieved in concert. That's why the plans we've put in place to secure energy resources that are reliable and affordable to support industry and support households have been put in place, and they include ensuring that when the Liddell power station comes to its conclusion, as will many other plants over time, we can ensure that the heavy industries that rely on those, in particular the Tomago Aluminium smelter, will be able to keep people in work and that we can continue to ensure the electricity and the power that we provide around this country, whether it's up in Gladstone or down in Portland or up in the Hunter or in any of these places. We will not allow our path to net zero to take their jobs and rob this country of heavy industry.
Those opposite don't agree with us, and I respect the fact that the member for Warringah also doesn't agree with us, but there is one member opposite who does agree with us, and that's the member for Hunter. He says it's a gas plant that will keep Tomago Aluminium—
Yes, I know that that is the case, and I've been listening very carefully; of course, it was a long and detailed question. In this case, the Prime Minister actually isn't talking about alternatives; he's talking about statements that are aligned to the government's policy. The Prime Minister has the call.
And that is true, Mr Speaker—the member for Hunter's views are aligned with the government's policies. Sadly, though, those who sit around him are not aligned with the member for Hunter; they're not aligned with the member for Hunter at all, and the one who is most unaligned is the member for Shortland. What we're seeing here is that the Labor Party, not content with wanting to fight us while we fight the virus, are fighting each other.