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Wednesday, 23 June 2021
Page: 161


Mr BANDT (MelbourneLeader of the Australian Greens) (16:00): You can get a lot done when you work together, and that is what the Senate has done this week. When we shared power last time, the Greens secured the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. We did it by working together with Labor and the Independents. We set up an organisation that fast-tracked renewable energy in this country and helped us make the shift to a clean energy future. The Liberals tried to abolish ARENA. We stopped them by working together. Then the Liberals tried to say that coal and gas were renewable energies and to use ARENA to give public money to coal and gas corporations, many of whom pay absolutely no tax. By working together last night, the Senate stopped them. Public money should be going to schools, hospitals and renewables, not to coal and gas corporations that pay no tax. This is a sign of things to come.

If 828 people had voted differently at the last election, the Morrison government would not be a majority government, so we are only a few hundred votes away from kicking this terrible government out and having the Greens hold the balance of power. If we hold the balance of power, we will push the next government to go further and faster on the climate crisis and to ensure that we have more money for renewable energy and that public money goes to stopping the climate crisis, not making it worse. The message to people after this week in parliament is that your vote is powerful. We are a few hundred votes away from kicking out this terrible government and giving the Greens the balance of power.