Sarah Hanson Young
Sarah Hanson Young Photo Parlview

Hanson Young:  I rise to contribute to this debate by reflecting on the new-found socialism of the Turnbull government. Here I am standing in this place to reflect on Fidel Frydenberg, Castro Canavan and Malcolm the Marxist—and their new-found faith in socialising energy production.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Senator Hanson-Young—

A government senator interjecting

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Don’t make it any worse. Senator Hanson-Young, no longer ago than question time, we had a similar incident, and I would ask that you refer to members of this chamber and the other by their proper title.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: Of course, Mr Acting Deputy President. The coalition used to claim to be the party of market forces but, under Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, they have embraced socialism. They have introduced export controls on gas; they want to spend $1 billion of taxpayer money subsidising the Adani coalmine; they want to use taxpayers’ money to build and bail out old coal-fired power stations; and, of course, they have run a mile from market-based mechanisms for pricing carbon, which even the Prime Minister once crossed the floor to support. The one thing the energy industry says it wants is certainty, but, far from certainty, all it has from this government is chaos—all the coalition has given the industry is chaos.

Let’s take a closer look. It started with former Prime Minister John Howard, who gave us the Renewable Energy Target in 1997, but he raged against the price on carbon right up until 2006. As the 2007 election approached, John Howard supported an ETS, but post election the Liberals dumped it—for a while, at least, until Brendan Nelson unambiguously supported pricing carbon. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, of course, supported an ETS right up until—well, then he didn’t. Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, forever the contrarian, even supported a price on carbon just because Malcolm Turnbull didn’t, but, soon after he became opposition leader, Tony Abbott opposed all carbon pricing and admitted he was just a bit of a weathervane. Then, as Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, after ripping up the carbon price, gave us the Renewable Energy Target, which we still have today. The coalition has been all over the shop when it comes to climate policy and energy policy, but where have they settled?

They have settled for socialism. They will outsource health and education spending—all those essential services—but they want to insource the construction and maintenance of coal-fired power stations. They are socialists. We now see those in the National Party have become the coal communists. For years I have sat here and been lectured about the inefficiency of the public sector by the coalition in this place, and here we have Fidel Frydenberg and Castro Canavan —(Time expired)

Senate on 12/09/2017 Item MATTERS OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE – Environment Speaker: Hanson-Young, Sen Sarah/ Parliment Transcript used for News Reporting