Senate debates

Monday, 9 December 2013


Clean Energy Finance Corporation (Abolition) Bill 2013; Second Reading

1:26 pm

Photo of Lisa SinghLisa Singh (Tasmania, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary to the Shadow Attorney General) Share this | Hansard source

I rise to speak to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (Abolition) Bill and do so with a sense of frustration and pity. Why? Because there is mounting evidence of the human impact on climate change, making it no longer acceptable not to act. The previous Labor government acted because we believe that policy, not politics, is required to fight global warming. But today the coalition have let their politics dictate policy, and I have to say this is a very dangerous thing. They have been blind to the proven benefits of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and what it has brought to Australia.

Those things were alluded to by the chairwoman of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, Jillian Broadbent, during a Senate committee hearing last week. She made very clear that her organisation is making money, cutting emissions and fulfilling a role that the private sector could not. This was reported in The Australian Financial Review last Friday, yet Senator Sinodinos thinks that the CEFC's functions could be fulfilled by the private sector. That is completely contrary to the view of the chairwoman, Ms Jillian Broadbent. She has made it very clear that to abolish this body would be a mistake because the private sector could not fulfil this role. I think Senator Sinodinos has some clear reflection to make on his point of view. Is it a point of view only based on ideology or is it a point of view that is based on good public policy, on science and on economics?

We know when it comes to climate change that the position the government takes is ideological. It is not a policy that is based on science or economics, and that shows, because as soon as the new Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, was sworn in he instructed his department to prepare to repeal Australia's climate change policies. It was the very first thing he instructed his department to do because of this fixed ideology that the coalition have about climate change. It was to be replaced—they do have some kind of policy—by the most expensive climate policy they could come up with. Abbott's plan, let's make it very clear, is to give taxpayers' money to polluters—


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