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Clean Energy Finance Corporation Bill 2012
- Parl No.
Crossin, Sen Trish
Pratt, Sen Louise (The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT)
- Question No.
Joyce, Sen Barnaby
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- Start of Business
QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
(Abetz, Sen Eric, Evans, Sen Christopher)
(Milne, Sen Christine, Lundy, Sen Kate)
(Stephens, Sen Ursula, Carr, Sen Bob)
(Ronaldson, Sen Michael, Wong, Sen Penny)
(Wright, Sen Penny, Ludwig, Sen Joe)
Department of Human Services
(Pratt, Sen Louise, Carr, Sen Kim)
(Cormann, Sen Mathias, Wong, Sen Penny)
(Sterle, Sen Glenn, Ludwig, Sen Joe)
(Colbeck, Sen Richard, Wong, Sen Penny)
(Cameron, Sen Doug, Conroy, Sen Stephen)
- Gillard Government
- QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE: TAKE NOTE OF ANSWERS
- QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE: ADDITIONAL ANSWERS
- MATTERS OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE
- PARLIAMENTARY REPRESENTATION
- AUDITOR-GENERAL'S REPORTS
- Shipping Reform (Tax Incentives) Bill 2012, Shipping Registration Amendment (Australian International Shipping Register) Bill 2012, Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Bill 2012, Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2012, Tax Laws Amendment (Shipping Reform) Bill 2012, Tax Laws Amendment (2012 Measures No. 3) Bill 2012, Income Tax (Seasonal Labour Mobility Program Withholding Tax) Bill 2012, Tax Laws Amendment (Income Tax Rates) Bill 2012
- Corporations Amendment (Future of Financial Advice) Bill 2012, Corporations Amendment (Further Future of Financial Advice Measures) Bill 2012
- Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee, Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Committee
- Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee
- Clean Energy Finance Corporation Bill 2012
- Clean Energy Legislation Amendment Bill 2012, Clean Energy (Customs Tariff Amendment) Bill 2012, Clean Energy (Excise Tariff Legislation Amendment) Bill 2012
- Appropriation (Parliamentary Departments) Bill (No. 1) 2012-2013, Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2012-2013, Appropriation Bill (No. 2) 2012-2013
- Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment Bill 2012
- Superannuation Legislation Amendment (Stronger Super) Bill 2012, Superannuation Supervisory Levy Imposition Amendment Bill 2012
- QUESTIONS ON NOTICE
Monday, 25 June 2012
Senator JOYCE (Queensland—Leader of The Nationals in the Senate) (13:16): The electric car was first recommended as the car of the future in 1901. It was going to overtake all other cars. From 1901 until now, we have been waiting a little while for the electric car to turn up. What we hear in this debate on the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Bill 2012 is that, in the marriage between the Australian Labor Party and the Greens, there was a dowry to be paid. It is being paid by the Australian taxpayer. That dowry cost $10 billion and is being paid off in instalments of $2 billion a year. It is the most absurd piece of theoretical rubbish that has been foisted on the Australian people.
Every country has its time of social engineering. The most extreme examples were China's cultural revolution and Pol Pot. Now we have Australia financing its own little cultural revolution. Absurd ideas which do not stand up have become part of our debt. Where do you think the first instalment of $2 billion will come from? Where on earth is this money? I will tell you: we are going to borrow it. You will borrow it like you borrow every other piece of money. The country is currently $233.4 billion in debt. There is no money sitting around—it is borrowed money that you have to pay interest rates on.
We know that this scheme will go out the back door; it is going to lose. Even in their own area they are estimating a loss of about 7½ per cent. If you look at what has happened in the United States with their clean energy corporation where they are about to write off $10 billion, that would mean a loss in their instance of about 23 per cent. It is one of these mad ideas. The Labor Party talks of the sunny economic uplands, the so-called 'spring in your step'. Everybody has a spring in their step—no doubt one like there is in Fairfax or News at the moment. They have a real spring in their step at the moment. The economic conditions that are before us are more like a fettered gait.
In this nation we have to get away from these whacky theoretical, nirvana-like monkey ideas. Instead, now we are putting $10 billion towards them. One thing I can assure you of is that we are about to invest in not the cheapest but the most expensive forms of energy. There are people in the world who are love renewable power—they are probably the 400 million in India who do not have a light bulb. They like renewable power. Cow dung is renewable, and straw—there is lots of renewable power around, generally in the Third World. We have this thing called civilisation. I am a bit old fashioned and I kind of enjoy it. Here we are talking about renewable power. Look at this joint. It is almost luminescent. But we all sit here, and people have their threads, their nylon, made of oil based substances, but we live in an absolutely whoopee nirvana-like world. It would all be interesting reading except that it will just send us out the back door. This crowd is sending us out the back door.
Robert Bryce in his book Power Hungry: The Myths of 'Green' Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future wrote that countries that can provide cheap and reliable electric power to their citizens can grow their economies and create wealth. Those that can't, can't. That is basically it. You have a choice in the end: cheap power or cheap wages. If you want dear power, you better have cheap wages or no jobs. We see that in the aluminium sector at the moment. There is no alternative. Where are these green jobs? They keep telling about these green jobs but where are they? Why do we now believe that it is better for a fitter and turner to become a maintenance man at the park? What are they going to do? We have $10 billion to try to assist further people out of jobs. There are 1.6 billion people in the world who live without electricity. Is this a noble outcome? Are we intending to join them?
Even the head of the IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri, talks of the 400 million people who live without a light bulb in India. What is the purpose of what we are trying to do? Everything they talk about, even when they say we will have photovoltaic cells—they are imported—and wind turbines—they are imported—means we are shutting down our own capacity to get a highly subsidised or vastly more expensive order on us to buy an imported product to make us all poorer. It is this new world plan to turn Australian into a nation of CDEP workers, where we can all have environmental jobs but no-one actually ever does anything and no-one actually ever creates anything.
The average wage in the mining sector at the moment is $118,000 per year. The average in the electricity and utilities industry, the second highest, is $85,000 a year. What are the jobs that they want to get rid of? Those jobs are the jobs that they are hoping to get rid of. Replace them with what? They would replace them with these fantastic jobs they talk about—a fantasia that they can never actually point to it. We always hear about it but we can never find it. There is this amorphous concept of the green job. I have never found someone who has a green job. I do not know where these people live. Maybe it is the politicians. Maybe we have the green jobs. Maybe we are the green people.
In Spain we know that, rather than creating a job, every green subsidy costs 2.2 jobs. For every so-called green job you create, you will take out almost 2½ jobs. In the United Kingdom the figure is 3.7 jobs. In Italy the figure is almost five jobs. But apparently this is where we want to go. This is the new world under the Labor Party and the Greens. This is what they are creating for us. Theoretically it works well—wonderful theories. We hear of how we can no longer have an aluminium industry because it is not worth it anymore. We have to tell these people to evolve. They have to evolve with the Labor Party. They have to move on and realise that Victoria does not need an industrial sector anymore. They do not believe in blue-collar workers anymore. They have to evolve into green workers. They have to understand enlightenment, that shining orb of light that can be found at Nimbin. Who needs an industrial heartland? Who needs metalworkers these days? It is just so old-fashioned.
Of course we can run an aluminium plant on wind power. We can run an aluminium plant on photovoltaic power. It all makes so much sense! They are going hand in glove with the same people who want to shut down the timber industry, who want to shut down the fishing industry, who want to shut down the live cattle industry, who want to shut down the poultry industry, who want to shut down the irrigation industry and who want to bring back death duties and who believe in a top rate of tax of 50c in the dollar. What do they get for this wisdom? They get $10 billion in $2 billion-a-year instalments. From there, we can instruct the destruction of Australia, paid for by the Australia taxpayer. It is so absurd.
If you want to become the richest person in the world, invent the photovoltaic cell with an efficiency of 50 to 60 per cent. People will do that because they want to become wealthy. They do not need a subsidy. I have heard we are going to bring forth the electric car. They have been bringing that forth since 1901. It has arrived; it is called a golf buggy. We used to have some of the cheapest power in the world. Now it is disgusting where we see ourselves. A country that is like ours and has a vast area like ours—but in fact which has to deal with more stringent environmental circumstances—is Canada. Their power price is about half of ours. Greece's power price is now cheaper than ours. We are up there with the price of power of Switzerland, Poland and New Zealand. We are putting ourselves out of work because of these mad policies of this mad, mad government as it grinds us into the dirt, destroys what we are and takes us down this path to oblivion.
We are getting the carbon tax and we are paying $10 billion to the Greens for their green bank, where they will invest in completely dippy ideas. We are promised green jobs but we never actually find them. We do this on the back on a massive debt—$233.4 billion. Queensland's credit rating has been downgraded and they are going to $100 billion in debt. South Australia has lost its credit rating and is going out the backdoor; New South Wales too. They are all racking up with these massive debts. It does not matter because the lemmings are running the show. They have closed their eyes and it is over the cliff we go together.
What exactly does this nation do when we shut down everything that they want shut down, when this madness finishes? They do not believe in aluminium—aluminium is evil because it uses power. They do not believe in steel. They do not believe in most of the agricultural industries. They do believe in this sort of new bank—I do not know what to call it; come up with a crazy idea and they will give you money as long as it loses money. This green power collects an amazing coterie of acolytes. Probably one of the best ones is Heidi Fleiss, the Hollywood 'businesswoman', let's put it that way. She thought there was such a future in the green industry that she decided to give up her plans for a stud farm—and we can understand what that stud farm was all about! She said that green energy was where it was, that that was the way of the future. There are such pre-eminent brains that sit at the front of this. Then there is wind power. If you want to go down the path of wind power, what you cannot do with this green fund is to go into something serious. If you want to reduce emissions, and you are in the Greens, there are certain things you are not allowed to talk about. You cannot talk about things that actually bring about zero emissions. They do not believe in nuclear energy; they cannot believe in that; it is evil. They do not believe in thorium; they cannot do that. They do believe in geothermal, but they have not quite twigged that the reason the rocks are hot is not that they are near the centre of the earth—which is what one of them said in a Senate estimates—but that there is a slow degradation of grenetic material, which has a latent radioactivity about it. That heats the water. We have our own nuclear reactor, but we are not allowed to call it that—we have to call it geothermal.
Wind turbines have been such a huge success. That is what the Labor Party believes. People just love wind turbines. There are so many people who want so many more wind turbines. They are the most expensive form of power, and people hate them. Wind turbines, whose name shall not be mentioned by the Greens but they are going to support fields and fields of wind turbines. In fact, if you really look at it, wind turbines are also one of the greatest absorbers of land space. A power station is a nice compact thing, and even a coal mine is a nice compact thing, but we just cover the land with wind turbines. If you jump in a plane to Sydney you see wind turbines everywhere. As fly along, you see them all there, out the starboard side, turning along. That is what you want—subsidised power. Wind power requires almost four times the amount of land that natural gas does and about seven times as much as coal. For each megawatt of wind power that is generated, 870 cubic metres of concrete and 460 tonnes of steel are required. By comparison, each megawatt of natural gas requires 27 cubic metres of concrete and 3.3 tonnes of steel. Whereas wind turbines, even if we go into the green credentials—I know you are probably not interested in this over there—
Senator Crossin: I cannot understand what you're talking about. You are talking such rubbish.
Senator JOYCE: She is interesting, isn't she? You might be interested to know that it is estimated in America that between 75,000 and 275,000 birds are killed each year by wind turbines. Renewable energy projects often do not even reduce emissions as they claim. Wind projects typically generate 10 to 20 per cent of their maximum capacity, because the wind blows intermittently and, when it does blow hard, it is often at times when electricity is not required. So, this bill will be completely ineffective at either encouraging more renewable energy or reducing carbon emissions. We will waste lots of money; the government has admitted that in this case Treasury has estimated that, on average, loans from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation will make a loss of around about 7½ per cent. Once this bill passes today we are set to waste $750 million at least, but this amount is likely to be a vast underestimate.
Senator Crossin interjecting.
Senator JOYCE: Madam Acting President, I think she needs an ambulance. She is in some pain over there.
Senator Crossin: I know, but the pain will be gone when you sit down.
Senator JOYCE: What will we do? I suggest we get her a new lily pad, because that one seems to be sinking. I am sure you will be interested to hear the views of Larry Summers, formerly Bill Clinton's Treasury secretary and President Obama's director of the National Economic Council: 'The government makes a crappy venture capitalist.' We are going to have such shining lights as Senator Crossin helping us out. Now there is a shining orb of economic light! Just look at her. You know she is right up the top there. She would be a great example of economic literacy. People like Senator Crossin are going to be such an asset to the investment profile of this nation. I cannot wait for people like Senator Crossin to be advising us on the direction this nation should go, because they are so clever.
Senator Crossin: That is right. That is the best thing you have said.
Senator JOYCE: You can tell, because in between the intermittent grunts that emanate from the corner where she resides on her lily pad—
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( Senator Pratt ): Senator Joyce, please direct your remarks to the bills under discussion.
Senator JOYCE: If we want to know about green power, we can see the energy that it takes to eat flies and bring up tadpoles. Maybe we can have a caucus with Senator Crossin and some of the Greens—Senator Rhiannon—that would be good. We will be able to listen to them grunting along, talking about windmills and photovoltaic cells, as we blow $10 billion. You might think $10 billion is irrelevant, Senator Crossin, but there are a lot of people who think $10 billion is a lot of money. You do not really care about $10 billion anymore, because you do not care about money any more, as long as you bring the whole show down. What we are seeing now is basically the financial destruction of Australia, as you tear it down, as you bring it to its knees. It has all become so pathetic, so ridiculous. It goes on and on and on from one fiasco after another fiasco in an eternal rotating circus of fiascos and in the centre of that fiasco is the emanating light of Julia Gillard, Wayne Swan and Senator Trish Crossin.