Thursday, 9 February 2017
Questions without Notice
Senator Di Natale, I absolutely reject that comparison. That is a fatuous comparison. I do not profess to be a scientist and, therefore, I am not in a position to explain to you—to use your rather artless form of words—'how clean coal works'. However, I can tell you, and none of us need to be scientists to know this: there are some varieties of coal that produce fewer emissions than others and one of the solutions to the energy mix in this country is to encourage the generation of electricity through burning coal which produces fewer emissions, sometimes called in the vernacular 'clean coal'.
Unlike your party and unlike the Labor Party, that take an ideological if not a theological approach to this issue, we in the government take a technology agnostic approach to the energy mix. But what we are not going to do is make the policy mistake of the Labor Party—encouraged, no doubt, and imposed upon them by the Greens—of adopting the wrong mix. We saw that in South Australia as recently as last night when, once again, a Labor government was not able to keep the lights on. It is all very well for Premier Weatherill to boast that South Australia has a renewables-only energy base, but if you cannot keep the lights on then you are failing in one of your fundamental duties as a government to the general public.