Senate debates

Thursday, 9 March 2023

Statements by Senators

National Reconstruction Fund

1:55 pm

Photo of Penny Allman-PaynePenny Allman-Payne (Queensland, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

Today we celebrate a huge win for manufacturing, for the regions and for the climate. The Greens have ensured that the National Reconstruction Fund will not be used to fund coal and gas or native forest logging. The guardrails that we have put in place mean that no public money will flow to coal and gas corporations. The amendments that The Greens have secured will ensure that the National Reconstruction Fund will be focused on creating high-quality jobs across a diverse economy, particularly in regional Queensland.

The coalition tried to use public money to fund coal and gas through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, but they were unable to do so because of the guardrails that the Greens and Labor put in place. Now we have the same assurance that the NRF won't be used to fund the climate crisis. Last year the Greens took a policy to the federal election, championing a manufacturing fund that genuinely rebuilds Australian industry. As a unionist, I will continue to champion a future for manufacturing with well-paid and secure jobs. Under the coalition, we have watched as manufacturing in this country as been kneecapped into a pure 'dig it up and ship it out' economy. Australia deserves a better deal, and the regions deserve a better deal too.

Coming from Gladstone, I know all too well who really loses out when a government doesn't plan for the future. When industry collapses it can take out services, jobs and, with it, the connective tissue from which community grows. This is why I have introduced a bill for a national energy transition authority so that communities have a say as they transition away from coal and gas. This is what The Greens are in parliament to do. As a senator from regional Queensland, I am here to ensure our communities are put first, not the coal and gas corporations.