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Tuesday, 2 April 2019
Page: 14472


Mr TIM WILSON (Goldstein) (15:47): I can understand the concern of many people around the challenges of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and concern around climate change. Having studied climate change and climate science, as a qualified carbon accountant, I've worked firsthand to deal with many of these challenges and what Australia can do. But I also look at it as an incredible opportunity to transition towards a sustainable future for Australia and jobs, to create the opportunities and to devise opportunities to innovate and to deliver for the Australian people, to deliver an environmental solution to so many of the challenges we face—because we on this side can see that the future is going to be awesome.

What we're doing is being part of the solution and leading the change. The member for Barker rightly made the point that what we need is modern Liberal vision for Australia in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and confronting climate change. What we need is modern Liberal leadership for Australia to make sure that we can turn plans into action. And that's what we're doing. We are delivering our Paris targets. The best indicator of future success is what you've done in the past. We have managed to meet our Kyoto targets by 128 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent greenhouse gases, and we'll double it by 2020. And, of course, we are on track to meet our Paris targets as well.

The Climate Solutions Fund will continue on the early success of the ERF, and we're providing an additional $2 billion to cut two-thirds of the nation's emissions in the non-energy sector to deal with things like agriculture, land use, management and transport energy. Emissions reduction through this method is more than half the cost achieved through Labor's failed carbon tax.

We have Snowy 2.0, through which we're building the baseload renewable energy infrastructure Australia needs. The Snowy hydro power station was a critical project for the development of reliable renewable energy to secure Australia's energy grid in the past, and we are reinvesting in it today for its strategic importance as the battery of the nation, located between Melbourne and Sydney, to increase its contribution to Australia's energy baseload, particularly for households and industry.

We have Marinus Link and are stopping energy waste by having Tasmania's hydro power, which is a critical part of the energy grid, deliver baseload renewables to the mainland. A second interconnector from Tasmania to the mainland will supply cheaper, reliable baseload power.

We have the national electric vehicle strategy. Transport use is changing, and Australia needs a unique solution for our unique situation. Australians have always relied on cars as part of transport solutions because of the country's low density and distances. We are developing a strategy to reduce emissions from cars and freight to drive the adoption of new technology and deliver a comprehensive solution to meet Australia's needs.

We have the National Energy Productivity Plan. We need workable solutions to cut around 90 per cent of energy consumed by industry. Of course, that will deliver economic dividends and competitiveness as well. Our productivity plan is designed to reduce Australia's industry energy demands and cut consumption by 40 per cent by 2030 through practical measures such as efficient air conditioners and white goods and new environmental building standards.

We have the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which invests in renewable solutions: $10 billion is available to invest in renewable challenges, including new energy investment, increasing energy efficiency, reducing energy demand and the repurposing of energy resulting from waste.

We have ARENA, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. Australia can lead the world in sectors where we are competitive. The $2 billion available through ARENA provides finance for innovation in sectors where Australia can grow industries that can compete with the world, ranging from biofuels through marine energy generation and solar to energy storage.

What we have is a target, a plan and a road map to get there. What we will deliver is a plan, a target and a road map to get there. Compare that to the plan that our opponents have. They say 'plan', but it is an aspirational target with no way of getting there. It is like saying, 'I want to find my way to Darwin,' and then spending the next three months trying to pretend that somehow you have got a traffic map. You've got no idea how to get there and you've got no consequence. You just want to talk the talk; you are not interested in walking the walk. What this government does is walk the walk. It matches its plan against practical solutions which will take Australia forward and provide the modern Liberal leadership that this country so desperately needs.