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TRANSPORT—CHALLENGE OF PEAK OIL

Senator Milne, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 628—That the Senate—

 (a) notes that:

  (i) neither the former Howard Government nor the Rudd Government has implemented the first recommendation of the 2007 Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee report, Australia's future oil supply and alternative transport fuels, namely, that Geoscience Australia, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and the Department of the Treasury reassess both the official estimates of future oil supply and the `early peak' arguments and report to the Government on the probabilities and risks involved, comparing early mitigation scenarios with business as usual,

  (ii) of the nine recommendations of that report, only recommendation 6 relating to incentives for fuel efficient vehicles has even been considered, let alone addressed,

  (iii) in the week beginning 8 November 2009, the International Energy Agency (IEA) issued its annual `World Energy Outlook', predicting that global oil demand is forecast to rise from 85 million barrels per day in 2008 to 105 million barrels per day in 2030, and

  (iv) a whistleblower at the IEA has claimed `it has been deliberately underplaying a looming shortage for fear of triggering panic buying' and that a `senior official claims the US has played an influential role in encouraging the watchdog to underplay the rate of decline from existing oil fields while overplaying the chances of finding new reserves'; and

 (b) calls on the Government immediately to develop a national plan to respond to the challenge of peak oil and Australia's dependence on imported foreign oil.

Question put.

The Senate divided—

AYES, 6

Senators—

Brown, Bob

Hanson-Young

Ludlam

Milne

Siewert (Teller)

Xenophon

NOES, 31

Senators—

Adams

Back

Barnett

Birmingham

Brown, Carol

Cash

Cormann

Crossin

Feeney

Ferguson

Fielding

Fisher

Forshaw

Furner

Hurley

Hutchins

Ludwig

Lundy

Marshall

McEwen

McGauran

Moore

Parry (Teller)

Polley

Ryan

Stephens

Sterle

Troeth

Trood

Williams

Wortley

Question negatived.