Wednesday, 6 September 2017
I, and also on behalf of Senator Macdonald, move:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(ii) the ALP co-sponsored a Senate motion in October 2016 'to encourage the retirement of coal-fired power stations',
(iii) the Federal Opposition Leader told media in October 2016 that 'coal has a future in Australia',
(iv) the ALP supported a Senate motion in March 2017 stating that Government 'has no choice but to walk away from funding coal-fired power stations',
(v) the ALP supported a Senate motion in March 2017 stating that 'thermal coal is in structural decline and has no long term future in Australia',
(vi) the ALP supported a Senate motion in June 2017 congratulating the Federal Minister for Resources and Northern Australia and the Queensland Premier for 'their leadership in bringing the Adani Carmichael Mine in Queensland's Galilee Basin another step closer to being a reality', and
(vii) the ALP supported a Senate motion in August 2017 stating that Government 'should not force the early retirement of coal-fired power stations'; and
(b) calls on the Federal Australian Labor Party to come clean with a coherent policy position regarding the future role of coal and coal-fired power stations in the national energy mix.
There is no doubt as to where the Liberal-National coalition government stands on the future of coal and coal-fired power. This government does not support forced early retirement of coal-fired power stations. The government recognises the importance of maintaining an affordable and reliable baseload energy supply and the job security of those employed in the coal power industry. The government considers coal—
Well, it is a difficult area, Senator Di Natale. But he's not physically debating or arguing a contrary position. He is putting the government's position, and the opposition have been doing the same. There are times when elements of debate can creep into that, but I'm asking senators to be very conscious, when they make statements, not to purely debate the issue.
The government considers coal to be an essential part of Australia's energy mix for the long-term future, including the consideration of high-efficiency, low-emissions coal technology.