House debates

Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Questions without Notice

Renewable Energy

2:48 pm

Photo of Susan TemplemanSusan Templeman (Macquarie, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Climate Change and Energy. What actions will the Albanese Labor government take, and what actions will the Albanese Labor government reject, to ensure Australians can access the benefits of cheaper, cleaner energy?

2:49 pm

Photo of Chris BowenChris Bowen (McMahon, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Climate Change and Energy) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the honourable member for Macquarie for her question. I remember the hundreds of people who came to her renewable energy round table in Katoomba in the election campaign. They know she's a champion for climate change action and renewable energy! The member asked what we will get on with. We will get on with the job of deploying renewable energy, because it's the cheapest form of energy.

Just this morning, I introduced legislation, the final piece of legislation, for offshore wind in Australia, and I look forward, in the coming weeks and months to making further announcements about jobs to be created and energy to be generated from offshore wind in the Gippsland, the Illawarra, the Hunter, off Portland and the Indian Ocean off Perth. We will work with the states, and the Prime Minister has referred to the excellent announcement from the premier of Queensland today. We will continue to work with the states, all states, in terms of deployment of renewable energy. I thank all state ministers, including the NSW minister, Minister Kean, who said, after our recent energy ministers meeting, that it was the most productive meeting of energy ministers he'd been to in four years. That's what the NSW energy minister said. Four years he mentioned, and this was the most productive.

But the member also asked me about what we will reject, and after deep consideration we will reject the installation of the most expensive form of energy, and that is nuclear energy. I can report to the House the ideas factory over there has been whirling away again, and there have been Liberal and National senators and members promoting nuclear energy again today. But they don't have much detail. They don't have much detail; they've just got a vibe. I feel obliged to assist about what nuclear energy would mean in Australia. I'm grateful to the group nuclear energy for climate action, a pro-nuclear group which made a submission and gave evidence to the Senate inquire into the government's climate change act. They explained what it would look like. They told the Senate inquiry that in their analysis we would need 24 gigawatts of nuclear power in Australia. At 300 megawatts a nuclear power plant, which would be a small modular reactor, that means there'd be 80 nuclear power plants to come. That's one every second MP. Through you, Mr Speaker, put your hand up if you'd like one. There we go. You get a nuclear power plant, and you get a nuclear power plant, and you get a nuclear power plant! There are plenty to go around. They also told the Senate where they'd go. The Mid North Coast. There would be the Big Banana and the small nuclear reactor next door, a favourite for the kiddies! In Bowral, the Southern Highlands: the clipped hedges and the Bradman museum and a nuclear reactor for the good people of the Southern Highlands, I have to inform the member for Whitlam.

They don't want the detail. They want to have their yellow cake and eat it too. Well, we're not going to let them get away with that. If they want a nuclear policy, they're going to be held accountable for it.