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Monday, 19 March 2018
Page: 1375

Senator BARTLETT (Queensland) (13:10): I want to briefly respond to the comments that have been made. It's disappointing but not surprising that the government doesn't support this; it's simply disappointing that Labor is not supporting this. Senator O'Neill's comment did not go to the heart of the amendment, which is a simple one; it went to the broader nature of the legislation. They were valid comments to make, but not with regard to this amendment. This amendment is simple: it seeks to ensure that taxpayer money is not made available to subsidise exploration for thermal coal. That's all it will do.

Senator O'Neill talked about people being taken seriously. This is a simple matter about whether Labor want to be taken seriously on their commitment to move away from fossil fuels. As the minister himself just outlined, this exploration incentive regime does not apply to petroleum or oil shale at the moment. The Greens simply want to make sure it does not apply also to exploration for thermal coal. It's a very simple amendment. If you support ensuring that we do not further expand subsidising exploration for thermal coal, you'll vote yes to this amendment. If you support more subsidies being made available to explore for thermal coal, you'll vote no. It's very disappointing that Labor appears to be going to vote no.