House debates

Monday, 22 May 2023

Questions without Notice

Renewable Energy

2:56 pm

Photo of Michelle Ananda-RajahMichelle Ananda-Rajah (Higgins, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Climate Change and Energy. How has the Albanese Labor government used its first 12 months to end a decade of denial and neglect, to deliver stronger, more reliable energy and to restore Australia's climate leadership?

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 her question. Indeed, the Albanese government has spent the last 12 months restoring stability and certainty to energy policy in this country. We've done so because we know that over the last decade four gigawatts of dispatchable energy left our energy grid and only one gigawatt came on. That left Australian households, businesses and our entire energy system exposed to international pressures in a very suboptimal way, and we knew that we had to provide that certainty for investment.

I am pleased to report to the honourable member and the House that large-scale renewable investment is up 55 per cent over the last 12 months. I'm pleased to the report to the honourable member and the House that we have seen a record investment in 7.1 gigawatts of renewable energy across this country in the last 12 months, thanks to the policies of this government. That is a record which those opposite would not be able to boast. They wouldn't want to boast about it, because they didn't support renewable energy.

We know what has been necessary. It's been necessary to provide stability by enshrining our climate targets into the law of the land, and renewable energy investors from around the world have told us that that has been vital in encouraging investment into our country. We also know that it's been necessary to provide stability and certainty for investors, to tell them that the transmission will exist to support that investment. We have been rolling out our Rewiring the Nation policies across the country, opposed by those opposite. We know that we need to provide further stability, and we've done that in the budget. The capacity investment scheme which is reflected in the budget agreed unanimously with the states and territories. I have announced that the first auctions will occur in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales. This is very important to provide that stability, and it will unleash up to $10 billion worth of investment and six gigawatts worth of investment. That's what these policies will do.

We also know that this is a massive job-creation opportunity for our country. That's why the arrangements announced by the Prime Minister and the President of the United States yesterday are so important, to ensure that our capacity as a renewable energy export powerhouse is harnessed in cooperation with our like-minded partners, none more important than the United States of America. This is what we've spent the last 12 months doing, and we know we have so much more to do. We are very pleased with progress in the first 12 months but we're far from satisfied—because we've got a decade of denial and delay to catch up on. We've got a decade of neglect. Twenty-two energy policies they gave us over 10 years and not one worked. We've been putting into place one energy policy, one climate policy, and it has been working.