Thursday, 24 June 2021
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction. Will the minister update the House on the Morrison government's technology, not taxes, approach to reducing emissions, and is the minister aware of any alternative views?
I thank the member for Bass for her question and I pay tribute to her strong advocacy for clean energy technologies and the role that technologies like hydrogen can play in northern Tasmania. We were lucky enough recently to visit the Bell Bay Aluminium smelter and Liberty Australia in the member's electorate. We see great opportunity there for hydrogen. The member for Bass knows—as all of us on this side of the House know—that there are two ways to reduce emissions, and there is only one way that delivers a stronger economy for Australia. That is through technology, through innovation and through Australian ingenuity. That's why we shouldn't be restricting organisations like ARENA; we should be expanding their remit because they show great Australian ingenuity.
Whilst others in this place are happy to talk down Australia, we on this side know that our track record on emissions reduction is something we can be proud of. We are more than 20 per cent down in our emissions reductions since 2005—the lowest level of emissions since 1990. Emissions are lower now than at any time under the Labor government and there are record levels of investment in household solar. We're on track to meet and beat our 2030 target, just as we met and beat our 2020 targets.
But I am asked about alternatives. We've seen this week Labor teaming up with the Greens to oppose expanding ARENA's mandate—something that industry leaders have labelled as short-sighted.
Mr Bowen interjecting—
Mr Littleproud interjecting—
They opposed it. We on this side know that, if it's not to be technology, it is to be taxes—and the member for McMahon, the shadow minister, has never seen a tax he didn't like. When they were last in government they imposed a carbon tax and, when the member for McMahon was Treasurer, he raised the carbon tax and, of course, he took carbon tax policies to the last election. When the member for McMahon was asked this week whether he opposed carbon taxes being imposed on Australian exporters, Australian miners and farmers, he refused to condemn it. He refused to condemn a carbon tax being imposed on Australian exporters and farmers. If the member for McMahon can't impose a carbon tax himself, he will encourage others to do it. We on this side of the place know that to get emissions down it's about Australian ingenuity, technology and getting on with the job.