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Monday, 25 June 2018
Page: 6161


Mr BANDT (Melbourne) (14:24): My question is to the Minister for the Environment and Energy. Huge advances in renewable energy and storage technology mean that the electricity sector can more easily cut its pollution than agriculture or transport can. Yet, despite demanding that states and territories compromise and agree to your National Energy Guarantee, you yourself have refused to compromise on the paltry emissions reduction target set for electricity. In fact, you even want to lock it in and tie the hands of future governments for 10 years. Given your refusal to negotiate in good faith on the pollution target for electricity, thus making other sectors do the heavy lifting, can you tell the House: what are the government's emissions reduction targets now for agriculture and transport?

Mr FRYDENBERG (KooyongMinister for the Environment and Energy) (14:25): We won't take a lecture from the Greens, who call Senator Jim Molan a war criminal. We won't take a lecture from the Greens, who celebrate when people's houses are burnt down, blaming it on climate change. The reality is that emissions on a per capita and GDP basis are now at their lowest in 28 years. That's the record of the Turnbull government, and we've done it without a carbon tax, we've done it without a citizens assembly and we've done it without a cash-for-clunkers program. We have delivered lower emissions in electricity and in other areas. When it comes to renewables, we have seen record investment under the Turnbull government. Australia is now the third most attractive destination in the world on a per capita basis, and the seventh most attractive destination overall, for investment in renewables.

At the same time, we will not compromise the affordability and the reliability of our power system. The Greens and the Labor Party want to shut down our coal-fired power stations across the country and sell out blue-collar workers. The member for Hunter wants to sell out the workers across his electorate. The member for Shortland—

The SPEAKER: The member for Melbourne, on a point of order.

Mr Bandt: The question was about targets for agriculture and transport, if the minister could address those.

The SPEAKER: The member for Melbourne will resume his seat. The minister will just wait—I'm going to rule on the point of order, if that's okay with him! I'm going to make two points to the member for Melbourne. Certainly, the last part of the member for Melbourne's question was about those two specific policy areas, agriculture and transport. The problem for the chair, of course, is the preambles to questions, which ministers are entitled to address. And, in the case of Independents' questions, they tend to be longer, given the longer time limit they have for their questions—45 seconds. That's beyond my control; I've made that point on numerous occasions. But I do say to the Minister for the Environment and Energy: none of the preamble or the specific questions from the member for Melbourne—I was about to intervene—relate to the opposition, so he needs to confine himself to the question.

Mr FRYDENBERG: In relation to the land sector, the Emissions Reduction Fund has reduced emissions and contracted for emissions for 190 million tonnes at an average cost of around $13 a tonne—a very effective policy. When it comes to the transport sector, we've invested, through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, in electric vehicles and the rollout of emissions there. At the end of the day, when it comes to reducing emissions, we will also ensure the affordability and the stability of our energy system. We've committed to 26 to 28 per cent, and, just as we are overachieving on our 2020 target, we'll meet our 2030 target too.