Legislative Council Question Time
April 13, 2016
The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (14:58): Supplementary: does the minister agree with Dr David Suzuki's words at WOMADelaide on both drilling in the Great Australian Bight and, indeed, nuclear waste?
The Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Climate Change) (14:58): They can't help themselves, these Greens. They are in bed with the Liberals at a federal level, trading off their principles, as they always do, because they are now just another political party like all the others except for the Labor Party, who stand on our principles at every time.
Here they are doing deals with the Abbott-Turnbull government. What is their record on climate? Under the Abbott-Turnbull government—the government that the Greens are in bed with now at a federal level—we have moved from fourth to 10th in the Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index. Under the Greens-Abbott-Turnbull government, we have moved from fourth to 37th in the Global Green Economy Index. We have moved from third to 13th on the Yale Environmental
Performance Index, labelled by the Liberals as the 'most credible index', with a specific rank of 150th in relation to climate change—
The PRESIDENT: Order!
The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: That is what the Greens are bringing us to, jumping in bed with the federal Liberal Party, driving down our climate credentials. We won't stand for that; we will continue to lead in this state.
The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (14:59): A supplementary: did the minister actually listen to David Suzuki's speech at WOMADelaide or does he simply selectively quote Dr David Suzuki?
The Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Climate Change) (14:59): I had a lovely cup of tea with Dr Suzuki and his wife, and I took the opportunity of telling him what the Greens in this country are doing with the Liberal government. They have also on climate change supported the federal Liberal government attacks on renewable energy which has seen 2,500 jobs lost in this sector and investments down by 88 per cent.
Emissions from the electricity sector have jumped by almost 10 million tonnes under this Liberal government; that is what the Greens are supporting now. In 2014-15, emissions rose for the first time since 2006-07—that was the last time there was a Liberal government. When Malcolm Turnbull was environment minister, emissions rose for the first time. Australia's largest Energy and Emissions Market Analysis, RepuTex, has confirmed under the federal Liberals' direct action policy, carbon pollution levels from Australia's biggest polluters will increase by 20 per cent by 2030. That is what the Greens are delivering us now, with their unprecedented unholy alliance with the Liberals at a federal level.
The list goes on. The Abbott-Turnbull Liberal government has dismantled the Climate Commission; attempted to scrap the independent Climate Change Authority; succeeded in having the climate authority's respected and well-regarded chair, Bernie Fraser, step down; undermined the renewable energy target, threatening South Australian investments and jobs; desperately tried to abolish ARENA and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation; and cut or, is in the process of cutting, hundreds and hundreds of climate scientists' jobs at the CSIRO. How on earth do they sleep at night? I do not understand it. Clearly for them, principles do not matter. They just want to get into parliament.