Senate debates

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Questions without Notice

Climate Change

2:57 pm

Photo of Anne RustonAnne Ruston (SA, Liberal Party, Minister for Families and Social Services) Share this | Hansard source

I thank Senator Waters for her question; however, I'm going to have difficulty in answering it because it actually isn't correct in the assumptions and statements she has just made. The Australian government remain absolutely committed to ensuring that we have a system in Australia where Australians are able to access affordable and reliable energy, but at the same time we're making sure we meet our obligations—as at every instance, as Australia, we have always met our international obligations—when it comes to the issue of carbon emissions. It will make no difference, I'm sure. Whatever I say in this place will not be accepted by the other end of the chamber. But we are absolutely committed to being completely agnostic around how we deal with this issue. What we are absolutely focused on is that we know the application of technology, and not taxes, is the way that we can ensure a secure future for Australia—for Australian businesses, for Australian taxpayers, for Australian households, for all Australians.

I think everybody on this side of the chamber would be as committed as anybody else in Australia to making sure that we play our role in making sure that, on carbon emissions, the future of our planet is secure. But we are not going to do it just on a whim, on the kind of proposition that gets put forward by the Greens. We will do it systematically, based on the science that's provided to us. We will do it in a way in which we can apply technology, because we are the most innovative country in the world, and the fact that we are able to apply that innovation in such a way means we are the envy of the rest of the world. We will continue to do that, because we believe that the most important thing we can do as a government is to be responsible. We need to be responsible to make sure affordable and reliable power is available because our economic recovery will not be successful unless Australian businesses and Australian consumers are able to get access to the energy that they need for the recovery. But I can absolutely assure you that this government is committed to doing so within the responsibility we have for global climate emissions.


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