Questions without Notice
16 October 2006
Mr BEAZLEY (2.00 pm)—My question is to the Prime Minister. Why won’t the Prime Minister reverse the decision to abolish the solar rebate program beyond June 2007? Prime Minister, aren’t the Australians protesting against the abolition of the solar rebate through the Channel 7 Sunrise program’s ‘Cool the Globe’ campaign right?
Mr HOWARD—The changes that were made to that program were designed to make it available, albeit in a lesser amount, to more people.
Mr ALBANESE (2.04 pm)—My question is to the Prime Minister. Is it not the case that the government’s failure to increase the renewable energy target has meant that the Roaring Forties company has cancelled projects in Tasmania and South Australia worth $550 million that would have employed 200 Australians and the Vestas renewable energy assembly plant in northern Tasmania is closing, with the loss of 100 jobs? Prime Minister, is there any other country on the planet where renewable energy projects are being closed?
Mr HOWARD—The government made its position in relation to the MRET very clear when it brought out its energy white paper. It is the view of the government that many contributions need to be made to solving the problem of global warming. Renewable energy is part of the solution, but another very important part of the solution is nuclear power. Until those on the other side who spruik their commitment to solving the problem of global warming admit that one of the things that needs to be looked at very seriously is in fact the possible contribution of nuclear power, I would invite the member for Grayndler—
Mr Albanese—Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I asked: is there any other country on the planet where renewable energy projects are being closed?
The SPEAKER—The member for Grayndler will resume his seat. The member for Grayndler has asked his question and the Prime Minister is in order.
Mr HOWARD—The government acknowledge, and we always have, that renewables are part of the response; but so are other energy sources. The point I would make to the member for Grayndler is the point I would make to all of those who sit opposite: if you are really serious about tackling the problem of global warming, you have got to be serious about looking at the potential contribution of all of the energy sources, including nuclear power.