I’d like to thank the member for Groom for bringing this motion forward today. It is important to have the opportunity to speak about the effect of the Albanese Labor government’s efforts to address climate change, including through our signing of the Global Methane Pledge—a move that has been welcomed by the likes of the National Farmers Federation, Meat & Livestock Australia and Farmers for Climate Action.
I am concerned that parts of this motion seem to be grounded firmly in the type of alarmism that we have consistently seen from those opposite when it comes to talking about action on climate change. It’s worth noting that it’s a special 10-year anniversary this year for the member for New England. It’s the 10-year anniversary of his cracker of a claim that carbon pricing would lead to a Sunday roast costing $100 and a single cow or lamb costing as much as a house. What an anniversary! When in opposition, we called on the then government to take the issue of methane seriously. We had the same member going on about some nonsense about shooting cows. These claims, from now and from then, are as ludicrous as each other.
After the election, I had really hoped that those opposite, coming out of nine years in government—nine years of drift and denial—might have changed. I thought they might have taken a look at themselves and their failure to take real action on climate and decide they need to change tack. I thought they might realise that the Australian people want them to start working in the country’s best interests. Unfortunately, I’ve been brought back down to earth pretty quickly. We saw it on the climate change bill. The government, the Independents, the Greens and others in this parliament came together to deliver, for the first time in years, a real plan on climate change. But who was on the outside? Who decided they didn’t want to work across the parliament on this? That was the opposition. They couldn’t get their act together in nine years, and they’ve decided they don’t plan to try doing so now that they’re on the opposition benches.
I should credit them though; there is one idea in this space that they do seem strangely obsessed with at the moment, which is, of course, nuclear power. Again, how interesting that in nine years in office it wasn’t something they progressed but, now that they’re in opposition, it’s apparently the great white hope! That is despite it being the least cost-effective option and despite them not being able to tell the Australian people where they plan to locate this new nuclear power they are so keen on.
So our government is happy to leave the opposition to this irrelevancy. In the meantime, we’re getting on with the job and we’re getting Australia back on track. Our government has started a new chapter. We are listening to the Australian people, who have made it clear they want a government that takes climate change seriously. Our government does, and we’re matching our words with action. We are moving forward in our switch to cleaner, cheaper, renewable energy. We are treating climate change as an emergency, because it is one. There are many parts to this, and that includes the Global Methane Pledge, which, as the minister responsible has previously outlined, is an important way for countries across the world to work together on reducing methane emissions. Since coming into government, we’ve worked with industry and farmer groups to progress signing this pledge. We’ve shown that you can take a route where you work with industry to get a better future for all of us. And I do want to thank all those groups across the country who sat down with government and constructively engaged in consultation and engagement to get what is a really positive outcome for our country.
Those opposite don’t work in this way. They work on division. They work on fear. They’re stuck in some idea of the past.
But the fact is: Australia’s farmers have been at the forefront of action on climate change, and they deserve recognition for that fact. There are some important projects that will come in this space. Some examples of those are: $4 million to trial low-emissions livestock feed technologies; $8 million to the Australian Sustainable Seaweed Alliance to support the commercialisation of seaweed as a low-emissions feed supplement—I know there is a lot of interest in this project, and I hear from a lot of corners about how important that is; and almost $5 million in grants to support the development of cost-effective technologies to deliver low-emission feed supplements to grazing livestock.
The opposition has just been left behind. These projects are going forward. Everyone else is moving forward. And yet those opposite don’t seem to have any interest in doing the same. In contrast, our government will keep getting on with the job. We are working hard to take action on climate change and we are working together with communities, together with industry and together with Australia’s agriculture and farming industry to do so. We’re governing for all Australians, for a better future for all of us. We are working to address the very real challenges that this country faces and we are taking the Australian people with us as we do it.