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Wednesday, 20 October 2021
Page: -1


Mr PERRETT (Moreton) (15:56): [by video link] Well, after that speech we certainly had it confirmed that the coalition are the Seinfeld of Australian politicians. They've made it an art form doing nothing. If only the Prime Minister had ordered new vaccines we might have avoided locking down two of our largest cities for months at a time, and all those other areas. 'It's not a race' he said. Well, it was a race and we started with both legs tied together, because of the inaction of this coalition government. If only the Prime Minister listened to the experts instead of all those empty vessel backbenchers. The Prime Minister was warned by fire chiefs before the Black Summer bushfires that we were at risk of a serious bushfire season. We needed more aerial firefighting equipment so we'd have a better chance of saving property and lives. But what did he do? He ignored them and did nothing. Then after much of the country was burning all he could say was, 'I don't hold a hose, mate.' If only the Abbott-Truss, Turnbull-Truss, Turnbull-Joyce, Turnbull-McCormack, Morrison-McCormack, Morrison-Joyce governments had acted on climate change instead of leading a party of head in the sand climate deniers, our nation would be much safer and heading in a much better direction. The coalition have made things worse.

This year Australia ranked last for climate action out of nearly 200 countries in a global report that assessed progress towards global substantial development goals—last! This is the Prime Minister who, when he was Treasurer, proudly brought in a lump of coal into question time to taunt Labor about our renewable energy policies. Instead of playing bullyboy tactics with his beloved lump of coal, if only the then Treasurer had actually developed some policies on renewable energy himself. This is devastating on so many levels. The coalition's inaction has left Australia exposed to more environmental threats, like more intense bushfires, as well as economic risks, like international carbon tariffs preventing our products going out. Australians are missing out. On Scott Morrison's watch 2,700 clean energy jobs have disappeared. The world's climate emergency is Australia's jobs opportunity. That's what the world understands. Global capital is moving rapidly towards renewable energy. We have a once in a generation opportunity for Australia to jump ahead of the pack with Australian renewable energy made by Australian workers and Australian technology right here at home. The coalition are squandering this opportunity. They don't care about climate volatility. They are only worried about backbench volatility. As I am sure you would know, Deputy Speaker, yesterday in Queensland we had the biggest hailstones on record—16 centimetre hailstones coming at your car. But the coalition are only concerned about backbencher volatility. The Nationals should be concerned about the bush and the climate.

It's not even weak leadership; it's non-existent leadership. It's a sitcom that works like that COVID app. We actually need a good leader who inspires and motivates action. It's hard to inspire and motivate action when you run off to Hawaii when the going gets tough. It's hard to inspire and motivate action when you are in denial about any problem even existing. It's hard to inspire and motivate action when you just blame everyone else when things go pear-shaped. But this is the leader who currently sits in The Lodge. To steal a quote from General George Patton: 'Lead me, follow me or get out of my way.' Australia can't afford to wait any longer for real leadership.

The Morrison government just aren't up to the job. They are too scared to even admit there is a problem. Australia needs a government with courage and a government with vision. Australia needs an Albanese Labor government with ambition, a Labor government that creates jobs, cuts power prices and reduces emissions—net zero emissions by 2050 and enshrine this target in legislation. Labor will rewire the nation to become a renewable energy superpower. Labor's $15 billion national reconstruction fund will create secure jobs for Australian workers, drive regional economic development, boost our sovereign capabilities and diversify our economy. It will partner with the private sector on investments that will grow the economy and jobs, including in renewables and low-emissions technologies like wind turbines, batteries and solar panels that lead on to other jobs, and will modernise fuel and aluminium, hydrogen electrolysers and so many more that I don't have time to go through.

The Morrison government is stuck in the past. This is the time when we need a leader with a vision and ambition for Australia. This is the time for real leadership. Australia can't afford to waste any more time on a do-nothing coalition government. We need action now, not a poor man's— (Time expired)