Thursday, 8 October 2020
Questions without Notice
My question is to Senator Cormann, representing the Prime Minister. For the anthropogenic-global-warming hypothesis to be accepted scientifically, it must be based on physical empirical data. During my meetings with the CSIRO it was confirmed that CSIRO relies only on erroneous, unvalidated computerised climate models, not physical data. This is the third admission of CSIRO's lack of empirical evidence proving causation. Both types of climate models have repeatedly failed to match physical data and observations, yet CSIRO has allowed this government to take confidence in climate models and that has led to policies economically destructive on the Australian economy. Senator Cormann, will you support an inquiry that would analyse and assess quantitatively the accuracy and levels of confidence in CSIRO's climate models?
Australia's committed to effective action on climate change. The debate that we've had in Australia over the last decade is about what the best methodology would be to achieve effective global greenhouse gas emissions in a way that is economically responsible. We think it is very important to maximise the emissions reduction effort in a way that is economically responsible. Of course, our success in securing emissions reductions in a way that is economically responsible and doesn't undermine the opportunities for working families to get ahead is a very important way to lead by example for the rest of the world, because if the rest of the world can see that we can achieve both emissions reductions and economic and jobs growth then other countries will follow our lead. We want all countries to do the best they can to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a way that is economically responsible, and I commend that approach to you.
Respected economist Dr Alan Moran has compiled government data to show climate policies and renewables subsidies are costing Australians $13 billion extra in higher electricity costs per year, and that is $1,300 extra per household. Minister, is it fair and reasonable that the most vulnerable people in our society—the poor, the elderly, students, the unemployed—are paying 39 per cent of their electricity bills on a fanciful, pointless crusade to change global temperature? It is a highly regressive impost on these people.
Our government has worked very hard to reduce the costs of electricity and to improve both the reliability and the affordability of energy supplies at the same time as working to reduce emissions and meet our emissions reduction targets agreed to in Paris. I'm pleased to report to the Senate that we are being very successful in that endeavour. Electricity prices are coming down, both for households and for business, and emissions are coming down. And we are meeting our emissions reductions targets—both those that we committed to in Kyoto and those that we committed to in Paris. So we are achieving what we set out to achieve, but we are doing it in an economically responsible fashion, which we believe is very important. And it's only fair, for the working families of Australia, that that's how we do it.
Using the government's own data, Dr Moran has calculated that energy users subsidise every wind turbine by $526,000 every year for 15 years. Australia has 2,691 wind turbines. That means you are making electricity users pick up the bill of $1.4 billion each year. That is $21.2 billion over their short lifetimes. How can you justify adding this massive cost burden to consumers and to industry?
Our government, for very good policy reasons, is committed to effective action on climate change. We are part of the global community and we are part of global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We've got to do that in a globally coordinated fashion and a way that is economically responsible. That is the policy of the Australian government and that is what we are effectively pursuing.