Wednesday, 7 February 2007
Matters of Urgency
Thank you. I am in desperate need of some protection, Mr Acting Deputy President. Thank you, most sincerely. I want to talk now about the specific matters the government is addressing to lower our greenhouse gas emissions. Rather than rhetoric, we have put money on the table. We are doing what a good government is obligated to do on these issues—and that is to do something to address them. It is not to have talkfests or run scare campaigns but to put some serious money into serious issues.
The $2 billion climate change strategy was very focused on practical measures to lower greenhouse gas emissions. It included $500 million for the Low Emissions Technology Demonstration Fund. Is it supported by the Greens? No, the Greens do not even support this fund. What about the $100 million renewable energy development issue—do they support that? Clearly, they do not support that either. What about the $100 million fund announced as part of the Asia-Pacific Partnership—do they support that? Again, silence from the Greens. They have not supported three initiatives so far on this matter. What about the $75 million Solar Cities program—do they support that? There is silence again from the Greens. They are damned by silence; they do not support this. Again, the Australian Greens are incapable of putting forward or supporting practical on-the-ground solutions to an issue that we all know must be addressed.
I will turn very quickly now to the support for renewable energy. We are investing hundreds of millions of dollars in renewable energy: $123 million for the expansion and extension of the renewable and remote powered generation program over four years; $100 million for the renewable energy development initiative; $75 million for the Solar Cities initiative; $20 million for the advanced electricity storage initiative; and $14 million for advanced wind forecasting capabilities. Do you support any of those, Senator Milne? Do you support any of them at all? No, you do not support them.