Monday, 18 October 2021
Questions without Notice
My question is also to the Minister representing the Deputy Prime Minister, Senator McKenzie. Nationals senator Matt Canavan has said that Mr Morrison does not have a plan for net zero but is instead relying on 'a prayer that hydrogen comes along and saves all these jobs'. Does the Deputy Prime Minister agree with Senator Canavan?
What Senator Canavan is concerned about, what the Deputy Prime Minister is concerned about, what the entire National Party is concerned about, is the impact of any move towards net zero on regional jobs. It's that simple. We only wish that the Labor Party and the Greens could have a similar concern. The reality is: you actually have no plan to get to net zero by 2050. You walked away from your 2030 target at the 2019 election. You don't have a medium target. You don't have a plan to achieve—
No; it's about Senator Canavan and the Deputy Prime Minister, and whether they agree. And they agree. They agree on the need to protect regional jobs for not just the next three weeks, not just the next three months, but the next 30 years. They are absolutely agreed on that, as we all are in the National Party. The National Party has a broad range of views on the substantive issue of climate change; there's no secret there. But what we are all united on is ensuring that any climate policy that this country agrees to does not disadvantage the regions. We're taking our time to assess that and come to a position.
But, in this place, it isn't just talking about the Nats—as much as I could do that all day—and what our plans for the regions are; it is to put before the Australian people what the alternative is, and the fact is that you don't have one. You have no idea how you're going to get to your plan of net zero by 2050—absolutely none. You will have to form a government with these guys, and you know who is under attack if Labor and the Greens get into power—the fishing industry, the forestry industry, the live cattle export industry, the mining industry, the gas industry, the coal industry— (Time expired)
Senator Canavan has also said:
… the Prime Minister might believe in miracles, but I don't think we should gamble people's jobs on a wing and a prayer.
Does the Deputy Prime Minister agree with Senator Canavan?
Well, I believe in miracles too; I do! I think you were phrasing that particular quote you put to me in the context of the last election, which was actually the miracle win; Australians actually woke up to what a racket the policy positions being put before them by the Labor Party and Bill Shorten and his leadership group were, and the negative impact they would have not on the top end of town but on mums and dads out there right across regional Australia and the suburbs. And they rejected them wholeheartedly. So, yes, I believe in miracles, absolutely.
Given Senator Canavan also declared in a piece entitled 'Woke net zero targets will weaken us':
Net zero emissions is the public policy embodiment of corporate bullsh*t …
does the Deputy Prime Minister think Mr Morrison should still be confident he can wrangle a climate deal with the Nationals just two weeks from the COP26 conference in Glasgow?
It's good that you're actually reading Matt's articles. I suggest you also sign up to his YouTube channel. You can usually find him with most Sky After Dark commentators. If you're a fan of Matt Canavan, that's where you'll find him.
You know what, Senator Watt? We don't shy away from having 20 very proud rural and regional Australians in our party room who all have a view on a range of matters. They are actually able to speak freely not just in the party room but outside of it.
What we are committed to doing is making sure we keep you out of government. That's actually what the National Party and the Liberal Party want to see happen: stopping the Labor Party, whose policies would decimate this country, decimate the regions and decimate our industries, because you don't care. That's why they don't vote for you.