Senate debates

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Matters of Urgency

Climate Change

5:26 pm

Photo of Tim AyresTim Ayres (NSW, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

The Morrison government doesn't have a plan; it's got a pamphlet. It's got a different plan every few months. It always changes. It's a plan that lacks ambition, lacks capability and lacks the things that Australians need to have confidence in the government.

All the way through this term Mr Albanese has indicated that, following the Glasgow conference and following the government finally releasing what passes for modelling, he and Mr Bowen will set out for the electorate precisely the climate and energy framework that will deliver a credible approach to Australia's position on climate and energy. That will come soon. He will do it. He has indicated that it will happen, and it will happen. It is something that the government have singularly failed to do over the course of the last eight, going on nine, long years of failure and ineptitude. Even with all the resources of government, they have failed. I suppose in some respects they've succeeded: they've had not one policy framework but 21—a hodgepodge of mutually opposed, utterly contradictory, befuddled and shambolic policy offerings. That's why we're last in the OECD.

It's only a Labor government that will deliver a credible policy framework in climate and energy. Labor's climate and energy policy, when it's released, will be directed towards the following national objectives. No. 1 is reducing electricity and energy prices for Australian households and businesses. No. 2 is reducing our emissions profile—Australia's emissions contribution—in order to, importantly, reduce our contribution but also to try and restore Australian credibility around the world, which has been so utterly trashed by this government. No. 3 will be about driving investment in new, good jobs—permanent jobs, not bodgie labour-hire jobs, not casual jobs, but real jobs in our industrial suburbs and in our regions and in our cities. We will do that by having lower electricity and energy prices and by making improvements in reliability and capacity to the grid, with investments in capability, with expansions in mining and mining technology, and with other efforts to try and push Australian exports up the value chain.

Our contribution through the National Reconstruction Fund and the Rewiring the Nation initiative, already announced, will be the biggest single policy contribution of any Australian government to rebuilding and reindustrialising our regions. That's what we'll do if we're elected. It's a solemn commitment to the regions and our industrial suburbs. It will have a real, material effect on our emissions profile. And it will be, finally, from an Australian government, a credible commitment on climate and energy.

Now, if you vote for the government, you won't get that. If you vote for the Greens political party, you won't get that—you'll undermine that—or if you vote for the National Party or One Nation. The only way you'll make progress on climate and energy and on jobs in the regions is by voting for the Labor Party. It is a critical national objective. There's no wedge, no political games, no tricks, no clever politics, no marketing, no spin, nobody left out, nobody left behind. It is a critical national objective for our economy, our society and our environment, and to protect jobs. If you want real action on climate and energy, if you want lower power prices, if you really care about blue-collar jobs beyond dressing up as a blue-collar worker, if you want more industry and a better environment, then vote for it. If Australians waste votes on them or them, that will undermine the capacity for change. It will put us further behind in the race for jobs and opportunity because, unlike the bloke who currently leads the government, Albo will do what he says and say what he means and will deliver.


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