Parliamentary Speech: Net Zero Economy Authority Bill

House of Representatives on Monday 3 June 2024

Net Zero Economy Authority Bill 2024
Net Zero Economy Authority (Transitional Provisions) Bill 2024
Second Reading

Check against delivery

I rise today to speak on the Net Zero Economy Authority Bill 2024.

Straight up: the Coalition will be not be supporting these bills. Why? This is yet another attempt by the Albanese government to push their radical green agenda by transforming the Net Zero Economy Agency from being a division within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to a statutory agency. In the latest budget, the government doubled funding for this agency to a staggering $1.1 billion over the medium term. This on top of the billions of dollars already being moved into the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the newly branded Future Made in Australia.

Why should we support this when the government has failed to provide a clear explanation on how the additional funding will be used? This is nothing but a bureaucratic waste, duplicating the responsibilities of existing state and federal departments. How many federal agencies tasked with renewable funding does this government actually need? This government seems obsessed with top-down, Canberra-centric approaches that ignore the needs and priorities of rural and regional Australia. We saw this during the Voice to Parliament debate, and we're seeing it again now. The last thing Australians need is to expand the powers and responsibilities of the Albanese government so they can further their net zero and climate agenda. Labor should be focusing instead on the real issues facing Australians: high inflation, increasing costs of living and excessive red tape.

In addition to this, we have a new fuel efficiency standard which is really just a big new tax on SUVs and utes for Australians. If you're an Australian and you have a large family, if you're a tradie or a farmer, if you tow a boat or a caravan, you will now pay more for new SUVs and utes. If you drive a Ford Ranger, a Toyota HiLux or Prado, a Mitsubishi Outlander, an Isuzu D-MAX or MU-X—the list could go on—all those new cars will become more expensive under the Albanese government, because what they have done, through the back door of the fuel efficiency standard, is impose a new tax on Australian consumers, particularly in the regions, where these vehicles are actually the workhorses of our local economy.

In addition to that, we're also seeing this obsession with renewables continue in Western Australia, with a proposal for an offshore wind farm on the south-west coast of Western Australia. Of course, this will have all sorts of impacts, starting with the visual damage it will do to our beautiful horizon. Locals can appreciate that already. There will be damage to the ocean floor. There will be damage to our marine life. There will be damage to birds.

All of this, of course, is before we even talk about the economic and financial cost of this wind farm. It'll cost a lot of money. There's a reason why these clean energy businesses are always asking for government handouts, and it's that they're not profitable. That's why Labor are subsidising this. That's why they're putting it on us. They're ignoring the concerns of our local community. The City of Mandurah has opposed it, and just last week the Labor member for Dawesville, my state member, who represents the Halls Head area, which will have views of the wind farm—she has come out and opposed it as well.

Those are just two examples of Labor's net zero obsession and how it's going to impact regular Australians—a new tax on SUVs and utes, and a massive big, ugly wind farm, producing unreliable, unaffordable energy for Western Australians.

The member for Cowan knows full well what this is going to do for your trips to the Margaret River. You won't be able to see that beautiful horizon when you leave Perth. You'll be instead looking at countless Eiffel towers on the horizon. Birds, marine life and ocean floors will be damaged, because of the Albanese government. You should focus on the concerns of regular Australians. You should focus on addressing the fundamental realities facing most Australian businesses and families.

This Net Zero Economy Authority is not a priority for the families and businesses in my electorate of Canning. Their priority is ensuring that they can afford food, bills, petrol and keeping a roof over their heads.

To my constituents: I assure you that all of us on this side of the chamber are focused on making your life better, the cost of living more affordable and getting inflation down. We're not interested in bureaucracy and wasting time for no other purpose than to expand the reach of the bureaucracy here in Canberra.

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  • Andrew Hastie
    published this page in Latest News 2024-06-04 11:57:55 +0800