Wednesday, 6 February 2013
Matters of Public Importance
No, you are not interested. The Greens are not interested in the cost of renewable energy because they will never be in power. They have this dislocated sense of power now with the little coalition they have had over the last three years with the Gillard Labor government. They are asserting that because we have the manufacturing, the technology and the space to do it we should all have it. Fairies live in the bottom of the garden, Senator Ludlam, obviously! Father Christmas!
For all those who are listening, who just got into the car to drive home, or who are listening to this online—breaking news! Senator Milne said in her earlier assessment that the UK has come out in support of renewable energy. Good lord! Breaking News! We are all in favour of renewable energy. We are in favour of targets that we would like to meet as a nation by the year 2020. Senator Ludlam is acutely aware of the commitment of most Australians to renewable energy. Unfortunately, what we cannot have are systems and government policies which prejudice Australians on the road to a sensible and balanced renewable energy plan.
Poor old Tasmania came in for a mention from Senator Singh. I love hearing stories about enterprise. I love hearing stories about the ways people enhance their enterprise, and renewable energy is part of that. Nichols Poultry has reached some prominence here today, and I am sure they have a wonderful product, but they must, in their aspiration and in everything they do, want to be sustainable like most farmers. Senator Singh talked about the aesthetics of wind farms. Not everybody is opposed to wind farms and the aesthetics of them. Senator Madigan has his views. We are not opposed to them, but it is a simplistic argument to run. What we have to do is say, 'How much does it cost?' I am sure that in all of Nichols Poultry's packaging they leverage their renewable commitment to energy.
He have made a commercial decision to brand the product as a clean, green, renewable one. It is imperative for him. He has made that decision—he either could not access power efficiently or he has made a decision to brand his product. That is his choice, but it does not mean all of industry in Australia can afford renewable energy at the levels which you propose. Unfortunately, you did not provide an economic argument.
I look at all of these things, and of course your answer is the carbon tax—you and your coalition partners. Well, the carbon tax is not renewable energy. We support the 20 per cent renewable energy target, despite your protests otherwise. The representations that you continually make do not bear any relationship to the coalition's plan, which we will take— (Time expired)