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Thursday, 4 April 2019
Page: 14872

Communities Environment Program


Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (14:52): My question is to the Prime Minister. The member for Dunkley has said that environmental grants were approved. The Minister for the Environment says that the grants were not approved. Prime Minister, your minister is saying one thing and the member for Dunkley is saying another. Who do you believe?


Mr MORRISON (CookPrime Minister) (14:53): I believe both members are passionate about the environment. I think the members on this side of the House want to do the right thing about the environment. I'll tell you another thing about the environment: we don't believe that you have to choose between having a clean environment and a strong economy. We don't believe you have to do that. We believe you can have responsible emissions reduction targets, meet the commitments that you've made internationally and have a strong economy. We believe both of those can be achieved, but the Leader of the Opposition doesn't. The Leader of the Opposition wants to put in place a wrecking ball on the Australian economy to implement a 45 per cent emissions reduction target which will put up the price of everything. He wants to tell Australians what sort of car they have to drive and what they have to put in their kids' lunchbox—so far does this Leader of the Opposition want to intrude into the lives of all Australians. He wants to put up their taxes. It doesn't matter whether they're a retiree or just someone out there working hard, he wants to put more taxes and more burdens on the Australian people.

On this side of the House, we have a plan, a clear plan, to continue to deliver the economic strength that we have delivered over the last 5½ years and we have a clear plan to meet the commitments we've made on reducing emissions in a way that continues to see our economy grow and our environmental standards maintained. Our plan is there for all to see. Our commitments on emissions reductions have been demonstrated in turning around a more than 700 million tonne deficit to our Kyoto 2020 commitments, which was left to us by the previous government, into a 369 million tonne overachievement. So, on this side of the House, we are delivering on our commitments to the environment.

In this budget itself there is not only the program that has been referred to, which ensures every single part of this country can benefit from the local environmental programs and grants that will support them in their local communities, but also a further $100 million environment fund that will support larger projects in regional areas as well as in metropolitan areas. That's what we're doing. What the Labor Party is going to do with their reckless emissions reduction target is going to cost Australian wages some $9,000 per person. That is the price, and I challenge the Leader of the Opposition to come clean tonight on the real cost to the economy of his reckless emissions target.