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Wednesday, 21 March 2007
Page: 39


Senator COLBECK (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance and Administration) (12:26 PM) —That is what this legislation is all about. That is why we passed the bill last year: to look at reduction in energy use, to bring on energy efficiencies and to reduce the potential growth. I might add that Senator Bob Brown’s previous recitation ignores quite a few facts. It is long on rhetoric and cliches but pretty short on fact. The figures that I gave of a potential doubling of the energy demand by 2030—and, I might add, a trebling by 2050—do, in fact, incorporate potential energy savings and demand growth below economic growth, reflecting growth in less energy-demanding industries. The government’s figures do give consideration to energy efficiencies as part of our projections on growth. On a slightly different topic, I reflect that we were criticised roundly prior to the 1996 election for not setting an unemployment target. Enormous pressure was applied to the Prime Minister to set an unemployment target. Our objective was to strive to do the best we could and we have achieved the lowest unemployment rate in over 30 years; it is currently 4.6 per cent. I think that we apply the same principles to this particular process with good cause.