Australia deserves better on climate action - Transcript, 2SM Mornings





SUBJECTS: Scott Morrison’s failure to act on climate change; Labor’s plans to address climate change and create jobs; the need for a strong federal corruption watchdog; allegations against Michael Sukkar.

MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Good morning, Andrew.


PAUL: Not bad. Soon. [laughs] Dear oh deary me. It was a straightforward question. Back on October 27, the Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison said he would release, you know, some detail into net zero and the policy, how we get there, what the modelling was, the costs were. But when asked yesterday, again quite arrogantly, he said ‘soon’.

LEIGH: And this is modelling, Marcus, which other countries released years ago when they set about putting in place targets for their 2030 emissions reduction. Britain's just announced they're going to have a 50 per cent emissions reduction by 2030. Australia's still got Tony Abbott’s old 26 per cent reduction targets - the same carbon targets set by the bloke who called climate change ‘absolute crap’. And if climate change continues unchecked, it’s Australia that will cop the effect of it much worse than Britain. We're going to lose the Great Barrier Reef and the wonderful tourist destination that it is. The extreme weather events will be much more severe for Australia than for many other advanced countries. So we ought to be out there leading. We should be proud of releasing modelling, not kind of hiding it like some guilty kid trying to come up with an excuse for not having done their homework.

PAUL: Well, I mean, that makes sense to me. Although Labor haven't released too many details as yet. You know, we're going to be a little fair about this. So when can we expect to hear some modelling from Anthony Albanese?

LEIGH: To be fair, we’ve released more policies in the government – rewiring the nation plan, the community batteries plan, the plan for making electric vehicles cheaper. But just as the Budget Reply speech from the Opposition Leader comes days after the Treasurer’s bringing down the Budget, so too you'd expect that the Labor Party will bring down our plan for reducing emissions reduction after the government brings out its modelling. We'll be doing that because we think that seizing the opportunity of renewable jobs is a great chance for Australia. This is an opportunity to be investing in hydrogen and wind and solar, in offshore wind where other countries are moving quickly and where the potential for Australia to become a clean energy superpower is perhaps strongest. So there's a whole host of great things we could be doing to create more jobs and reduce emissions at the same time. And that's the thing that has me banging my head against the wall over this one, Marcus - that it's not an either/or. It's not a choice between jobs and climate. We can have both and we should be getting both. If we had a good government, we would be.

PAUL: Alright. You might have heard me read out an email from a listener just a moment or two ago about a need for a federal Independent Commission Against Corruption, similar to one that we have here in NSW, which not only has been looking into Daryl Maguire - who by the way is getting paid, well, you know, he said yesterday in estimates, budget estimates we learnt that taxpayers here in NSW are paying up to $2,000 a day in his legal fees, for goodness sake. Putting that aside, that's disgraceful enough, but Pauline Hanson who will join me on the program after eight o'clock this morning, she's come out in public and basically trashed the Independent Commission Against Corruption, saying it's been nothing more than a political witch hunt against the former Premier of the state Gladys Berejiklian.

LEIGH: A federal ICAC can certainly learn from models in the states, including NSW, which is of course the oldest. But that's no reason for putting in place a toothless tiger. The government's proposal wouldn't have allowed any investigation to sports rorts, carpark rorts, or indeed the allegations that have been raised against Michael Sukkar. You couldn't have public hearings, and you couldn't have a report that included any opinion or finding that's critical - even impliedly critical - about a parliamentarian. And then you wouldn't have the public scrutiny that you through an ICAC, which I think is fundamental to the operation of these integrity bodies. And you see the crossbench is as outraged as anyone with the government continuing to fail to put in place a strong ICAC, more than three years after they promised to do so. You know it was in the last term of Parliament that they promised to do it, Marcus, and they still haven't delivered because they know their own dodgy ministers be the first in front of it.

PAUL: Yep. Alright, Michael Sukkar - just remind my listeners of this issue.

LEIGH: Michael Sukkar is alleged to have used taxpayer resources to run a factional operation out of his own office. We know that our staff are there to serve the community. It is a privilege to be a federal Member of Parliament, and I've always encouraged my staff to think of themselves as servants of the public first and foremost. We're working together to make the community better, whether that’s through organising community barbecues and park clean ups, or we're just helping people out in accessing government services. So the idea that you'd then be diverting resources from those needs to try and help your mates is pretty outrageous to me. We have a document on the office wall, our ‘Ten Principles of Politics’, that outlines the importance of being there to serve the community and create a respectful work environment. Michael Sukkar’s principles seem to be all about helping his mates and factional allies. I think we need further inquiries to get to the bottom of this.

PAUL: Yep. Alright. Good to have you on as always, Andrew. Thank you for your time for this morning, mate.

LEIGH: Great to chat, Marcus.


Authorised by Paul Erickson, ALP, Canberra

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Cnr Gungahlin Pl and Efkarpidis Street, Gungahlin ACT 2912 | 02 6247 4396 | [email protected] | Authorised by A. Leigh MP, Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch), Canberra.