Thursday, 1 August 2019
I, and also on behalf of Senators Brown and Bilyk, move:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) Tasmania, and mainland Australia, stand to reap significant benefits from the Battery of the Nation and Marinus Link projects, including lower power prices, lower carbon emissions, additional income and new jobs,
(ii) the initial feasibility study into Marinus Link concludes that the Marinus Link and related Battery of the Nation projects are only economically viable in the 'High Emission Reduction Target' scenario, which includes a significant increase in renewable energy investment, over a business as usual scenario over the next decade,
(iii) according to the feasibility study, under a business as usual 'neutral' scenario, which corresponds to the Federal Government's approach to renewable energy investment, the Marinus Link and Battery of the Nation projects have a net cost of up to $730 million dollars, while under the High Emission Reduction Target scenario, the projects have a net benefit of up to $482 million,
(iv) the Marinus Link and Battery of the Nation projects will not go ahead unless they deliver net benefits to Tasmania and the nation,
(v) after announcing 14 energy policies, the Federal Government still refuses to introduce any policy to support renewable energy investment to replace the 2020 Renewable Energy Target, which will be fully acquitted next year, and
(vi) without consistent national energy policy that supports renewable energy investment, the Marinus Link and Battery of the Nation projects will not go ahead; and
(b) calls on the Federal Government to introduce a consistent national energy policy that supports renewable energy investment through the 2020s and addresses carbon emissions as well as affordability and reliability in the electricity sector, to ensure the Marinus Link and Battery of the Nation projects go ahead.
Only the federal Liberal-National government, in partnership with the Tasmanian Liberal government, is fully committed to progressing the Marinus Link and Battery of the Nation projects. The Tasmanian people made their views clear at the last election on these key policies to unlock Tasmania's potential. It's time for Labor senators to start standing up for Tasmanian jobs by matching our commitments to these two projects.
The Greens agree with the words of this motion that call on the federal government 'to introduce a consistent national energy policy that supports renewable energy investment through the 2020s and addresses carbon emissions'. I want to highlight what a joke it is that the Labor Party would bring a motion into this Senate promoting renewable energy projects to reduce emissions. What absolute hypocrisy, for a party that supports new coalmines, supports new fossil fuel exploration off our coasts and supports the development of the oil and gas industry to bring forward a motion into this Senate—
As I said yesterday, when leave is granted by the Senate for a statement to be made, it doesn't have to comply with anything other than the general orders around behaviour. Those agreements which are undertaken offline should probably continue in the recess as offline discussions. Senator Whish-Wilson.
If the Labor and Liberal parties want to pretend that they've somehow got an action plan on climate change by bringing forward motions like this to the Senate, then they need to get a grip on the science. We have 10 years to reduce emissions. Significantly, there's no time for incremental change. We need drastic policies to reduce emissions immediately. Only the Greens in Tasmania and in the national parliament have the policies to do that.