Senate debates

Thursday, 15 September 2016


Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill 2016; In Committee

9:30 pm

Photo of Derryn HinchDerryn Hinch (Victoria, Derryn Hinch's Justice Party) Share this | Hansard source

by leave—I move Derryn Hinch's Justice Party amendments (1) and (2) on sheet 7926 together:

(1) Page 2, clause 2 (table item 6), omit "Schedules 5 and 6", substitute "Schedule 6".

[Australian Renewable Energy Agency ' s finances]

(2) Schedule 5, page 18 (lines 1 to 7), to be opposed.

[Australian Renewable Energy Agency ' s finances]

I am moving these amendments to try to save ARENA in its entirety. I believe that what the government and the Labor Party opposition have decided to do has the potential to destroy ARENA in the future.

This afternoon, we had Senator Sinodinos boasting that the government was not a one-night stand. Well, let him and the government prove that it is not a one-night stand. Years ago they courted ARENA, they wooed ARENA, they formed ARENA, they got engaged to ARENA and now they are trying not to marry ARENA—or, if they do, to make it a very short relationship. Leave it alone. You boast about all the things you can do. You boast about research and development; you say how good it is going to be. You talk about the jobs it can save and you talk about the things that it is going to do for everybody. You have left some of the money in there, and we know the fix is in and that you are going to ignore us.

What you could do, if you were really sincere about it, is preserve jobs in the area of renewables and in research and development. You talk about those young graduate students who have great ideas about new products and the new things they can do—the way they can save the world—and now you are trying to put the handcuffs on them. All I am asking you to do is think about it. Leave ARENA alone. In areas like the automotive industry in Victoria, and especially in South Australia—I know Senator Xenophon agrees with this—in the next couple of years thousands of people are going to be out of work, including the subcontractors. If you believe in ARENA and in the things they can do, you could retrain those people. Thousands of people could have new jobs in areas we do not even know about yet. So all I am saying to you tonight—and it is getting late—is leave ARENA alone.


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