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Energy - Net Carbon Zero Emissions

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Tags: Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Climate Change, Legislation


Your announcement to enshrine net carbon zero emissions by 2030 is cynical non action on the climate crisis. We already reached that milestone. We reached that milestone in 2015, thanks to the Tasmanian Forest Agreement negotiated under a Labor-Greens government. The TFA that you voted against reserved our vast native forest carbon stores. Your Government crowed about reaching net zero back then in the same year that you ripped up the Tasmanian Forestry Agreement legislation. Since then you have accelerated the clear-felling and burning of native forests, the carbon banks that got us to net zero.

Today you trumpeted your Government's climate ambition, calling yourself nation-leading. That is greenwash. Not only are you setting a target that we achieved six years ago but you are not setting targets for industry sectors when emissions in transport and industrial processing are growing year on year.

If you want to keep our community safe from climate hazards and you want to be able to look the children who will be striking on Friday in the eyes, you need to commit to end native forest clear-felling and introduce strong sector targets by 2030. Are you prepared to -

Government members interjecting.

Mr SPEAKER - Order.

Dr WOODRUFF - Premier, are you prepared to do that?

Mr TUCKER - Point of order, Mr Speaker. The member has been on her feet for a minute and a half and has not asked a question yet. It is not a speech.

Government members interjecting.

Mr SPEAKER - You did hear the question, Premier?



Mr Speaker, I got the gist of it. I thank the member for Franklin for that question. To be honest, I am absolutely staggered that you would come into this place and ask that question today. Tasmania is a national - an international - leader in this space.

The minister made the point a few moments ago that we can generate 100 per cent of our renewable energy needs. We have an emissions profile that is the envy of the world. The Greens cannot accept that and it just staggers me -

Members interjecting.

Dr WOODRUFF - Point of order. The Premier is misleading the house. We do accept that. I made the point in my question. We have been there for six years. We more than accept it. We want action.

Mr SPEAKER - That is not a point of order, Dr Woodruff. You know this is not a debate. You cannot make different points through the contribution. You have asked the question. I will admit it was not completely in silence when you were asking the question, but I ask that the Premier be heard in silence while he answers it, please.

Mr GUTWEIN - Thank you, Mr Speaker. This is a very important matter. I have said on a number of occasions we are at a very important moment in Tasmania. We have a range of opportunities in front of us. Building on the back of the work of governments over the last 100 years in investment in renewable energy. The choices that were made by different governments - and there were choices made. The Minister for Finance made the point, can the Greens point to one dam that they supported? We have a renewable energy base that has been built over the last 100 years and will continue to grow with a target of 200 per cent. I acknowledge the carbon sink that we have in our forests. I have made the point in this place on many occasions that the carbon sink we have came at a considerable cost to our communities. A decade ago with the way that it was managed and the way that it was rolled out, there were families sitting in lounge rooms around this state watching their businesses and their homes being lost. Sitting there with their children and there was a price that was paid.

Dr Woodruff - You know about hard decisions.

Mr SPEAKER - Order, Dr Woodruff. If you cannot listen to the answer in silence then you will be doing from the monitor outside.

Mr GUTWEIN - Mr Speaker, I acknowledge the carbon sink we have. It means we have a fantastic opportunity, not just to lead this country, but to be one of the leaders on the international stage as well. Our emissions were 108 per cent below the 1990 baseline in the last year they were accounted for.

We are where nations want to be, we are where other states want to be, we are in such a rare position that we can set a world leading target of net zero emissions by 2030. We can ensure that we take everybody with us. As a result the decisions that have been made over the last 100 years, we are in that rare position where we will see an inflow of investment occur into the future. There will be more jobs. People will want to be here, because we have such a special opportunity. I wish, that for once, that the Greens would accept that we are in a good place and that you don't need to be punitive.

It is interesting to look at some of the outcomes in terms of the emissions profiles. Regarding electricity generation, we do very, very well. Look at agriculture - we are below the 1990 baseline in emissions right now - negative 8 per cent. Look at the waste sector - negative 26 per cent. Those sectors have managed to migrate there by themselves.

Mr SPEAKER - If you could wind up please, Premier.

Mr GUTWEIN - Since 1990, our economy has nearly doubled. There are more than 60 000 jobs now in Tasmania and we lead the world with our emissions profile. If we work sensibly and responsibly with our industry sectors, we can take everybody with us. We can be a beacon, not just for this country but for the world, with what we achieve and with the legacy we leave for those Tasmanians that are going to follow us.