Monday, 21 June 2021
Questions without Notice: Take Note of Answers
How quickly those opposite forget about squabbles and changes. I seem to remember prime ministers—was it Rudd-Gillard-Rudd?—with some squabbles over that side, too, over similar sorts of issues, I suspect. I'm very glad that Senator Watt has asked about jobs. I think it was very telling, what we saw with our most recent jobs figures, which I'm pulling up now for Senator Watt—but he's, sadly, left us. It was easy to see that employment surged by 115,000 jobs in May to a record high. These are across regions, not just in the big cities. Full-time employment rose by 97,500 to a record high. The unemployment rate fell by 0.4 per cent to 5.1 per cent in May. The participation rate rose by 0.3 per cent to 66.2 per cent. So it's very clear, in answer to Senator Watt, that we are creating jobs. Whether in his regional Queensland, whether in regional Victoria, which I am a proud senator of, we are creating jobs in record numbers that that side of politics has never, ever been able to do.
Senator Watt was also asking about our vaccine rollout strategy. It was a very good question, and I'm happy to be able to update him on some of those numbers as well as the goal of net zero by 2050. As those opposite know, the only target the Paris Agreement requires is a 2030 target, which we have. We're yet to hear from those opposite about what theirs is. While this morning the Leader of the Opposition was ducking and weaving about what their 2030 target would be, we have committed to and are on our way to achieving our targets for 2030. We have runs on the board for this. We beat our target for Kyoto by 439 million tonnes, I think it was. I'll come back to the Senate if I'm wrong on that, but I believe it was about that.
Senator Rennick interjecting—
It was 459 million tonnes; thank you, Senator Rennick. That's why our approach is working. It's driven by how, not when. This is the problem. There is no-one who can tell us how to get to net zero by 2050. The technologies that will get us there don't currently exist. Other countries may be able to say that, because they have power such as—what's that other one we talk about a lot on this side?—nuclear power. That may be something that we have in Australia in the future, but not now—
Senator Ayres interjecting—
no more than we have hydrogen power in commercial quantities. I'll take any interjection that Senator Ayres wants to give me. Madam Deputy President, you might want to pull up those interjectors, that being your job. We are doing so much by pulling together to get to net zero emissions. Our vaccine rollout is going exactly as it should be. We are managing the economy better than those opposite ever could. I don't think it's very clear from that side of politics—particularly Senator Watt and Senator Ayres, who love to come in here and chuck around little jokes and slurs on those on this side that rarely get pulled up—if they can claim any goals at all. What are they going to do with Paris? What's your Paris goal? What's your road map? Are you just going to use renewables? Are you going to put up more wind towers and solar panels? We're not hearing any details on that. The response that your side gives us has the same effect on me, Senator Ayres; it bores me to tears and makes me yawn like you just did.