Senate debates

Wednesday, 7 September 2022


Climate Change Bill 2022, Climate Change (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2022; Second Reading

7:48 pm

Photo of Paul ScarrPaul Scarr (Queensland, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

I have 10, Senator Ayres; it has to be an even number. The sixth point I raise is the possible impact on regional communities. Again, I quote from paragraph 1.52 of the coalition senators' dissenting report:

The Department of Climate Change, Energy and Water has admitted it has not undertaken any monitoring and how these bills will impact regional and rural Australia.

There is no modelling on the impact on rural and regional Australia. I know my friend Senator Ayres comes from regional New South Wales.

I don't need four minutes even. They haven't actually considered the impact on regional Australia in their consideration of this legislation. The seventh point: we are concerned about the impact on the agricultural production of this country. Senator Faruqi rightly referred to the devastating famine that is occurring in the Horn of Africa at the moment in Somalia and, again, I extend my consideration and concern to our great Somali diaspora in Queensland. They are going through a devastating famine and, again, Australia should be doing all we can to help that region of Africa.

Paragraph 1.56 says:

The committee heard testimony that farmers are already troubled by the land already locked up by governments.

Are we going to see a situation where in order to achieve net zero major industrial players more and more seize, take, purchase through the market, our prime agricultural land, our land gets locked up and that has a negative impact in food production? I don't know the answer to that.

Point A: the legislation removes the Productivity Commission's five-year review into the socioeconomic impacts of our nationally determined contribution and how it may potentially disproportionately affect rural and regional communities. Why would you possibly remove the Productivity Commission's obligation, its function, to actually review the impact, in particular the socioeconomic impacts, of this policy in practice? Why would you remove the Productivity Commission's purpose in that regard? I simply don't understand it.

Point 9: What will be the economic cost of higher power bills on Australians? Paragraph 1.75 of the dissenting report says:

For Australians under constant cost-of-living pressures, any rise in power bills will have a detrimental impact on their lives.

What is going to happen to power prices? Tell us before you introduce this bill what will happen to power prices.

My last point, point 10: nuclear energy. We are seeing, as I mentioned earlier, that Japan is moving back towards reconsidering nuclear. If we are going to adopt this focus in replacing our fossil fuels, we need to look at base power stable energy production. We need to be considering nuclear. It is irresponsible for us to not consider nuclear yet, again, this isn't dealt with in this legislation. So on that basis I will not be supporting these bills.

(Quorum formed)


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