Wednesday, 3 April 2019
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Leader of the Government, representing the Prime Minister. Minister, the people of Australia are ready for strong action to stop our climate breakdown. They are desperate for some leadership and vision. Minister, how on earth do you explain that your government has spent more on opening and closing Christmas Island over the last four weeks than you will spend on climate change over the next four years?
This government is absolutely committed to strong, effective and appropriate action on climate change, including through our $3½ billion climate change package. I'm sure you would remember, when we came into government in 2013—do you know what the situation was in terms of meeting the Kyoto Protocol targets by 2020? We were 755 million tonnes of CO2 behind. That was after a six-year period of a Labor-Greens government. I know that the Greens part of that government was not so supportive of Labor's carbon pollution reduction scheme. I can understand that. I had a lot of sympathy for that at the time.
Do you know where we're at now? After six years of Liberal-National coalition government we are running 367 million tonnes of CO2 ahead of our 2020 emissions reduction target and we have a clear plan to meet the 2030 emissions reduction target of 26 per cent that we signed up to in Paris. You know what? The Liberal-National Party will always pursue sensible environmental policy in a way that is economically responsible. You can go to your supporters and continue to try to make them believe that you can shut down the economy and that that is a sensible way to go. That is not the way we're doing it. We are telling the Australian people very openly and very transparently that we want to do the right thing by the environment, meeting our emissions reduction targets that we've committed to but in a way that is economically responsible, because we want families around Australia to continue to have the best possible opportunity to get ahead.
Minister, we're facing a climate emergency and over the next four years you're committing $189 million for your so-called Climate Solutions Package, yet you're spending 174 times more than that—a staggering $33 billion—to pay massive mining companies to burn fossil fuels. How on earth do you justify that to the Australian people?
The problem with socialists is that they don't understand the difference between spending money and raising less in revenue out of the economy—and I wasn't reflecting on the Labor Party. I heard that Senator Wong might have been getting a bit sensitive there. When I say 'socialists', I mean those Greens socialists at the bottom of the Senate chamber over there.
Let me just make it very clear: when the government raises less in tax out of the economy, that is leaving business and Australians with more of their own money. You're obviously talking about the fact that, in relation to road user charges, businesses that don't actually use roads are not required to pay road user charges, which is of course an entirely reasonable thing to do. I mean, if you use roads, you pay road user charges; if you don't use roads, you don't. That is what we believe in on this side of the chamber, and we believe in stronger economic growth, in more jobs and in— (Time expired)
Minister, since 2012 the coalition's received $4.7 million from the coal, oil and gas industry. Given last night's budget sellout on climate, can you fill us in on a figure that wasn't in the budget papers: how much money do you expect to get in donations from the coal, oil and gas industry to fund your election campaign and to continue selling out Australians when it comes to action on climate change?