Federal Parliament - Matters of Public Importance [28 October 2021]

October 28, 2021

Dr ALY[by video link] It's always a pleasure to follow the member for Mackellar on an MPI! It was interesting to watch the member for Mackellar, but I've got to say that he did get one thing right, and that was that his government made an announcement. So here we are yet again standing up to speak about another announcement with very little substance behind it. It's a bit like groundhog day in this place, when this government continues to make mealy-mouthed announcements with very little substance to show for it and very little progress to demonstrate.

They say they have a plan, but this plan has no new policies and no legislation. So let's be very clear what this announcement is. This announcement is so that the prime master of grin and spin, the Prime Minister, can save face in Glasgow by being able to waive a glossy brochure in one hand while he has his little stash of coal hidden in his jacket pocket so he can whisper to it, 'Don't worry, my precious; I'm ambitious for you. It's okay; I'll look after you.' That's what this announcement is all about. It's all about a deal with The Nationals to promote the minister and it is about the Prime Minister being able to go to Glasgow and save face. It is not about a real commitment. It is not about any new policies, any legislation or any real plans to get to net zero by 2050.

But this time they have done something a little bit different—something just a tiny bit different. They have added a slogan: 'The Australian way'. Well, I looked it up. I thought: 'What do they mean by the Australian way? Give them a fair go, and let's see if they are fair dinkum about this.' Apparently, the Australian way is through technology—that's the Australian way. Well, it's only taken them eight years to figure that out. It has only taken them eight years to figure out that the business community and the resources sector are already way ahead in terms of technology. They are already forging ahead on moving towards net zero by 2050—and the government have had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the table.

I've been listening to those opposite speak. I had the 'pleasure' of listening to the member for Goldstein earlier. One thing that I've noticed is that they seem to have a string of speakers who consistently want to just point a finger at Labor and say,' Well, what are you doing?' Newsflash: you're in government. You've been in government for eight long years. I don't know what it means to those members to be sitting on that side of the chamber, but sitting on that side of the chamber comes with certain responsibilities. We'd like to be sitting on that side of the chamber, we'd like to take on those responsibilities, but they're there. They're there. And, while they're sitting there on that side of the chamber, pointing a finger at us and saying, 'Well, what are you doing?' here's what we're doing.

We're out there talking to the experts and we're out there talking to the constituents, to the Australian people, about what they want to see; that's the Australian way—people like Ross Clark from Morley, who has a letter in today's West Australian. The letter is headlined 'Long on rhetoric, short on detail'. Ross writes to the West Australian: 'The Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has a plan. We know that because he told us 101 times in his climate change ramble.' I think since this letter was published you can add another 80 times to that. Ross goes on: 'Unfortunately, like all things Morrison, it's long on rhetoric and salesmanship and totally absent on detail. The one thing we do know is he was screwed by Barnaby Joyce and the Nationals. But we don't know what it will cost the taxpayer and the environment. We are, after all, just the mug voters.'

That's the sentiment of the Australian people out there today. That's what the people of Australia are saying. That's how they feel about this announcement and its sham plan. They feel like they're being treated like mugs by a government that won't release the modelling because, as the member for Mackellar said, 'Oh, people just won't understand it.' That's their version of the Australian way. Their version of the Australian way is to treat Australians like mugs. That's their version of the Australian Way. Well, Australians won't stand for it. They see right through it and they will show it to them at the next election.