Wednesday, 17 March 2021
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Senator Seselja. Can the minister update the Senate on how the Morrison government's technology-not-taxes approach to energy policy is creating new jobs, strengthening our economy and reducing emissions?
Honourable senators interjecting—
I thank Senator McLachlan for that outstanding question. The Morrison government are delivering on our plan to provide Australian families and businesses with the affordable and reliable power they need to help cement our economic recovery and to create jobs. As I updated senators in February, we have delivered eight consecutive quarters of year-on-year CPI retail price reductions, and prices are set to continue to fall, putting more money in the hands of Australians and more money into Australian households and Australian business. I would think that those opposite would be welcoming those falls in energy prices. But, all the while, we're also reducing our emissions.
I know that senators will welcome the fact that Australia has reduced its emissions by 19 per cent on 2005 levels. I would have thought that Senator McAllister would welcome that fact—that she would welcome the fact we have reduced them by 19 per cent whilst lowering energy prices. Why won't they join with us in celebrating with Australian families and households? Even Senator Watt would welcome that, and even the Greens should welcome that reduction in—
Opposition senators interjecting—
Thank you, Mr President. We should all welcome this. We are on track. When we compare our effort, our 19 per cent reduction since 2005, with New Zealand on one per cent and with a 0.1 per cent reduction in Canada, this is something we should all be celebrating. We have overachieved on our target by 639 million tonnes. Our emissions fell faster than in Canada, New Zealand, Japan and the United States, and were more than double the OECD average. So we can do this; we can deliver emissions reductions while delivering lower energy prices for Australian families, households and businesses. That's something we can all celebrate and that's something we can all get behind.
Thank you very much. We are proud to be meeting and beating our international commitments without destroying jobs and without wrecking our economy, as those opposite would do. We know that Labor would do it and we know the Greens would do it. The Greens are out there—the unAustralian Greens Party—
Honourable senators interjecting—
arguing against our contribution and our nominee for the OECD. But we are getting it done. We're actually doing it without a carbon tax. We're doing it through a technology-not-taxes approach. That is something that ensures we continue to support jobs, that we continue to support household budgets and that we continue to deliver on our emissions reductions target. We're doing it without a carbon tax; we're doing it by investing in technology and by backing Australian business and Australian innovation. That's our policy and that's what we're going to continue to do. It's time for those opposite to start supporting those successful policies.
I thank Senator McLachlan for the question. It is vital; it is absolutely vital that we focus on cheaper and more reliable energy, because that's what Australians expect and that's what we're delivering.
Senator McAllister interjecting—
Senator McAllister can interject all she likes. Unfortunately, there are risks, and they're from those opposite—Labor and the Greens—whose only prescription when it comes to this area is more taxes. Leading the Labor Party's policy is the member for McMahon, who has never seen a tax that he didn't support. He's backed, of course, by the Queensland resources spokesman, Senator Murray Watt. Labor's car tax alone, of course, would have added $3,000 to the cost of a new vehicle.
Remember their retiree tax? The housing tax? The car tax? The carbon tax? Labor is all about taxes, and this government is about technology, not taxes, and about lowering our emissions and lowering energy prices.