Mr PASIN (Barker) (10:33): I rise to address the Labor Party’s recently announced policy of net zero emissions by 2050. Let’s be clear: that’s a policy that would cripple the Australian agriculture industry.
Opposition members: Is this a constituency statement?
Mr PASIN: I’ll take the interjection. The members opposite say, ‘Is this a constituency statement?’ I’m here to fight for Australian farmers; I don’t know about you.
CSIRO’s Australia National Outlook 2019, the report that those opposite keep pointing to back up their policy, actually shows that to achieve a target of net zero emissions by 2050, sheep, cropping and cattle production would fall drastically, devastating our agriculture sectors right across the supply chain, decimating regional towns and hurting Aussie farmers and the businesses that rely on them.
Even our friends across the ditch have recognised the detrimental impacts on agriculture a target like this would have, which is why the Ardern government has exempted agriculture from its target.
I remind members of this place that that’s a government whose majority is supported in coalition by the New Zealand Greens. Even the New Zealand Greens know this is bad for agriculture. In fact, none of the world’s largest emitters—China, the United States, India—have made any zero carbon commitments.
The EU is committed to net zero emissions, but they’ve exempted Europe’s largest coal-generating country, Poland, where around 60 per cent of the country’s energy comes from burning coal.
Labor’s net zero emissions target by 2050 is a target without a plan to get there. It will hurt agricultural industries, which will be at a massive disadvantage. Aussie farmers won’t be able to compete with their New Zealand cousins.
We wouldn’t send the Wallabies to compete against the All Blacks with each player having one hand tied behind their backs, but that’s what you’re asking of Aussie farmers. You’re asking them to get on the field and fight against the All Blacks with one hand tied behind their back.
Now, I held out some hope a couple of weeks ago when some sensible people, including the member for Spence, got together at a restaurant here in Canberra—I understand it was the second of such meetings; the first meeting was at the Coco restaurant, and more recently at the Otis restaurant—but my hopes were crushed.
Hoping that it was a resurgence of the once great Labor Party, it was an exercise in waving the white flag. The member for Hunter and his sensible supporters signed the surrender document. They’re being marched to the Left, further Left than the New Zealand Greens.