Senate debates

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Statements by Senators

Climate Policy

1:36 pm

Photo of Jess WalshJess Walsh (Victoria, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

You would think Halloween would be a good time for Prime Minister Morrison. After all, this is a Prime Minister who just loves a good scare campaign—a Prime Minister who generally prefers the dark shadowy places rather than the bright light of day. But 31 October will bring something new for the Prime Minister to be afraid of: fronting up to the Glasgow climate summit. We know exactly why he should be very afraid. On climate, his government is a two-headed beast that just can't move in one direction. After eight years in government Mr Morrison just does not have a climate plan, and after three years as Prime Minister it seems he doesn't even have the authority to make one.

But what the Prime Minister should really be afraid of is Australia missing out on the opportunities of the future—opportunities to generate thousands of new jobs in renewable energy, opportunities to export that energy to the world, opportunities to rebuild Australian manufacturing with cheaper energy and to make more of what we need right here. Instead the Prime Minister is letting Australia be dragged further behind the rest of the world, clinging to climate policies that are based on the zombie views of the government benches, zombie views declared dead eons ago. The Prime Minister's trick-or-treat approach to climate just doesn't cut it—political tricks instead of real action, and treats for the National Party. Australians need a plan on climate, they need a plan for the jobs of the future, and they need a government that has the courage and the unity to deliver it.