House debates

Wednesday, 8 March 2023

Questions without Notice

Climate Change

2:51 pm

Photo of Carina GarlandCarina Garland (Chisholm, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

r GARLAND () (): My question is to the Minister for Climate Change and Energy. How is the Albanese Labor government ensuring Australia's biggest emitters contribute their fair share of emissions reductions? Why is this important, and are there any threats to progress?

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

I thank the member for her question. I note it is the second question the honourable member has asked me this week, which means she has asked me twice as many questions this week than the shadow minister for climate change and energy has asked me this year. I thank the honourable member for her interest. As the member knows, this parliament does have an opportunity in this upcoming period to implement very important reforms.

Photo of Ted O'BrienTed O'Brien (Fairfax, Liberal Party, Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy) Share this | | Hansard source

Why did you break your promise of $275?

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

Welcome back to Australia. Welcome back after your successful movie tour of Japan. I recommend his movies to honourable members—Nuclear: What can we learn from Hiroshima and the sequel: Nuclear: What we can learn from Fukushima, the all-time classics from the honourable member opposite. The member for Chisholm asked me about the opportunity and the necessity of reducing emissions from our large industrial emitters. If you are going to write a note you have to do it in texter. Nobody can see that. We have an opportunity in this parliament to ensure that we reduce emissions from our 215 biggest emitters, and industry and business are crying out for this certainty. This came up this morning at the AFR business summit, where business leaders one after another called on the opposition to support the passage of this legislation. Tim Reid, the president of the Business Council, said it was disappointing that there was a lack of bipartisan support for the safeguard reforms and indicated that business supports it. Frank Calabria, the CEO of Origin Energy, said, 'We think we should get on with it and move forward. We support the safeguard mechanism.' Of course, the crediting mechanism, as we have always indicated, was the policy of the previous government we are seeking to continue, and it was no one-off policy from the previous government.

In October 2019, the previous government commissioned a review and, on 19 May 2020, that review reported and recommended below the baseline crediting, and the government accepted that. But then the minister gave a press conference and said, 'It is so important—so important—that we introduce below the baseline crediting.' They then issued consultation on the design and took it to the election. Of course, recently the member for Hume said they had already legislated it and it was working, when it was not legislated and clearly was not working because it was not the law of the land. We are making it the law of the land. Those opposite have had multiple occasions when they supported this, except when they actually get a chance to vote on it in the parliament. Because we have introduced it—something they never got around to doing—they have become so negative that they are not only opposed to our policies; they are opposed to their own.