PM Morrison writing at his desk in his prime ministerial office

Speech - 'Climate Solutions'

25 Feb 2019
Prime Minister

PRIME MINISTER: Well thank you very much for joining us here today. Can I also acknowledge the Boon Wurrung of the Kulin Nation, the land on which we meet. Can I acknowledge elders past and present and emerging.

Can I also take the time to acknowledge all the people who are gathered with us here today. Of course, I want to also acknowledge David Kemp. Doctor Kemp, it’s great to have you here because today we speak of a tradition the Liberal Party’s commitment to doing what is practical and what is right for our environment. And no one better encapsulated that than yourself in that role so many years ago, like so many others.

And of course you are joined by other great environment ministers in Greg Hunt, my good friend, and Josh Frydenberg, who have also taken on those roles. And of course today’s Environment Minister Melissa Price who is with us here today and has been integral to what I’m announcing today. And Melissa, I want to congratulate you on the great work you have been doing on the portfolio as we’ve come to make these important announcements that we are today.

And Angus Taylor is here as well, he has also been a key part of our team as we’ve pulled all of this together and particularly when we’re talking about issues around Snowy 2.0 and the hydro projects in Tasmania.

Can I also acknowledge Jane Hume and James Paterson who are here and can I also particularly acknowledge these powerhouse candidates. We’ve got Gladys Liu.


Of course, Kate Ashmor here in Macnamara.


And a very, very, very special welcome to Doctor Katie Allen.


And congratulations on your selection yesterday.

What this says to me when I look at the calibre of our candidates here with Katie, Kate and Gladys joining the team that you see here before us. A great improvement, a sign-up to where we’re going as a Party, where we’re going as a Government.

And so to have Doctor Allen added to our number yesterday, I think was a further endorsement to that approach. And so it’s great to have you on the team, I look forward to catching up. I know you caught up with Josh last night as well and so you are very, very welcome.

But to the subject of today. It falls to each generation to provide a road map for our nation’s future. This has always been our focus as Liberals and Nationals. David understands that.

And not just a road map, but a detailed plan that sets out how we will pass the prospect of a brighter future onto the next generation of Australians.

Over the past five years, our Government has kept faith with our traditions of what we believe as Liberals and Nationals to address the many tasks that have been set before us when we came to Government five and a half years ago.

  • Restoring the Budget to balance, from Labor’s years of deficits, to the point where Josh Frydenberg will hand down the first surplus Budget in 12 years. That is a significant turnaround in our nation’s finances.
  • Reducing taxes so working Australians keep more of what they earn, for them and their families. They have more in their pockets to deal with the rising cost of living.
  • Securing Australia in an uncertain world. We understand the world as it is, not as we’d like it to be, because we have to deal with it as it is. There is a clarity in how we pursue these issues.
  • Record defence spending, stronger borders and a comprehensive plan to keep Australians safe. Whether it’s in the classroom for kids, or online with bullying and sexual predators, or so women can walk the streets and not fear the violence that is too often visited upon, particularly in this city here in Melbourne.
  • Guaranteeing – and fully funding – the essential services we rely on. No one knows this better than Greg Hunt. Record bulk billing for Medicare achieved under our Government.


  • Do you want a strong Medicare? I do, we all you, you need a stronger economy if you want a strong Medicare. And that’s what we’re delivering and the Pharmaceutical Benefits listings now at 2,000 since we came to Government. Changing and saving people’s lives. Well done Greg, you’ve done an extraordinary job on all of those issues.

Now, across all of those issues, the NDIS, medical care, the infrastructure that supports our quality of life.

This is what we’ve been doing. These are achievements we can be proud of.  

And they speak to why we can be trusted when we say we have a plan to make Australia even stronger.

That’s what these credentials are, that what these achievements demonstrate. That the plans we are now putting in place that you can have every confidence that they will be achieved because that is what we have done.

So today, I want to focus on our ongoing plan to address climate change, with practical solutions that reduce carbon emissions, while preserving our economic strength and our living standards.

Because you know, as Liberals and Nationals we don’t believe we have to choose between our environment and our economy.  Such an approach I consider is not measured, it’s not balanced, it’s not practical and it’s not helpful.

It pushes debate, when you think it’s an either/or choice between your economy and your environment, if that’s what you think this debate is about, you know where the debate goes? It goes to the extremes, it leads to people making reckless decisions, not balanced ones, that can have very dire consequences for our country and future generations.

So that’s not our approach, it’s not an approach that a sensible Government like ours embraces. And that’s why we haven’t embraced that approach which says you have to choose between your economy and your environment.

We acknowledge and accept the challenge of addressing climate change, let’s be clear about that. Our Government, my Government, acknowledges that we must accept the facts of climate change, address it, and we do so with cool heads, not just impassioned hearts. Because it takes both.

Our approach is to take care of our environment but also take responsibility to ensure we acknowledge, understand and manage the consequences of the decisions that you make to address climate change.

Our actions and plans to address climate change build on our strong traditions and record of achievement as Liberals and Nationals over generations to protect, preserve and value our environment.

Now, no one politician, no one political party, no one government can claim a mortgage on understanding the obvious fact that we only have one planet. Plenty try to, but it’s just a simple truth.

It was the Menzies Government that signed the Antarctic Treaty - protecting this last frontier from mining, weapons testing, and military bases.

It was John Gorton who established the Office of the Environment, and took on the then shibboleth of ‘federal-state relations’ to ban drilling and mining on the Great Barrier Reef. An action far ahead of its time.

It was the McMahon Government that appointed the first Minister for the Environment, Peter Howson, who as Greg reminds me, led our delegation to the inaugural United Nations Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment that approved a moratorium on the commercial killing of whales, an international convention to regulate ocean dumping, and the establishment of a World Heritage Trust to help preserve wilderness areas and other science natural landmarks.

This was backed up by the Fraser Government that banned whaling in our waters, Australian waters, declaring the Great Barrier Reef a marine park, banning sand mining on Fraser Island, and making Kakadu and South West Tasmania World Heritage areas.

It was then the Howard Government that established the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target in 2000, which created incentives for investment in renewable energy.

The Howard Government established the Climate Action Partnership between the Australian and United States, initiated collaboration on climate change with Japan, and signed bilateral climate change agreements with China, New Zealand and the European Union.

It was also the Howard Government that established the Natural Heritage Trust, as David remembers very well. The Australian Greenhouse Office, passed the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act and increased the green zones in the Barrier Reef Marine Park from 5 per cent to a third, 33 per cent.

And it was the Howard Government, with Malcolm Turnbull as Environment Minister, that first tackled the vexed – and it remains vexed - issue of the Murray Darling Basin and established the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, with bipartisan support I stress, that was carried on by the Rudd and Gillard Labor Governments, and we have carried on indeed as a Government with bipartisanship, it’s foundation for success. You play around with bipartisanship on the Murray Darling Basin and you really do pout all of what can be achieved in these sensitive areas at risk. You don’t play politics with the Murray Darling.

Our direct action initiative when we came to Government, commenced under Tony Abbott with Greg as its architect, enabled us to successfully meet Australia’s Kyoto emissions reduction targets, as promised.

Our Government, also under Tony Abbott, then set and confirmed a new target of 26-28 per cent emissions reductions on 2005 levels by 2030.

We established the Asia-Pacific Rainforest Partnership, knowing that about one billion tonnes of CO2 is released each year in our region as a result of deforestation and land degradation. Now this is nearly double the amount of emissions Australia produces annually from every sector of our economy combined.

We have kept our commitment to support our neighbours, including $300 million to support climate resilience projects in the Pacific.

And under Malcolm Turnbull we invested in the first stage of Snowy 2.0 and through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and Renewable Energy Agency, where they made further investments in pumped hydro, battery storage and large-scale wind and solar.

Malcolm Turnbull put pumped hydro, again, back on Australia’s map from where it had been all of those years ago when Snowy was first conceived.

Our commitment and action to conserve our environment is grounded in our understanding of the intergenerational compact.

The obligation we have to future generations.

Our children should not have to pay tomorrow to subsidise the living standards and lifestyle that we enjoy today.

Now, this is as true for our environment as it is for getting the Budget back into surplus, for paying for our health and education services. We shouldn’t be borrowing from future generations to pay for the recurrent services that we today expect.

One of the biggest things that happened in the last couple of years in the Budgets is we stopped borrowing money to pay for recurrent services, be it welfare, hospitals, education, all of those everyday expenses. That stopped under our Government.

Or building indeed the infrastructure we need to support population growth.

Our air, waterways, fisheries, soils, biodiversity, our oceans, our reefs and our lands are all vital parts of the inheritance that we leave for future generations.

We hold them in trust today for those who will come after us. This is not a new concept. Indigenous Australians have been living these principles for tens of thousands of years and we acknowledge that here today.

Reducing our carbon emissions to address the real challenge of climate change requires practical policies. It’s not about armbands, it’s about policies that actually work and do things.

What matters is what works and whether you are achieving what you set out to do.

So what have we set out to achieve?  And how have we performed? These are the reasonable benchmarks, in fact the only benchmarks, that you can use to assess.

Australia’s share of the global carbon footprint is 1.3 per cent.

Now that compares to 1.6 per cent in Canada, Germany 1.9, South Korea 1.4.

China at 26 per cent and the USA at 14 per cent are the world’s largest emitters.

So that’s the playing field.

In 2015, we committed to reduce our emissions as I said by 26-28 per cent by 2030, from 2005 levels.

This percentage is higher than countries like Japan and Korea but slightly below Canada and New Zealand.

But when you dig deeper, you can see what the real nature and significance of this commitment is.

Our 2030 target is the equivalent of reducing emissions per capita by around 50 per cent - one of the largest reductions of any G20 economy.

In terms of the emissions intensity of our economy, our effort is even greater - a reduction of around 65 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

In 2015, Australia was the 14th largest emitter. After taking into account all countries' commitments, we are on track to drop to being the 25th largest emitter by 2030.

So our target is no slouch and let no one tell you it is. It’s a fair dinkum commitment, it’s a serious commitment, that requires real effort to achieve. And we are playing our part, we are doing our bit.

But nor is our target reckless, nor is it extreme.

By contrast, Labor is proposing a 45 per cent emissions reduction target.

This requires more than three times the amount of emissions reduction by 2030, compared with our Government’s sensible and achievable target is currently pitched.

Independent modelling released last week by BAEconomics has confirmed that Labor’s reckless emissions reduction target will put, as Angus has said on so many occasions and rightly, a wrecking-ball through the Australian economy. Something the Business Council of Australia have also said in similar terms.

Now the work shows that compared to our Government’s targets, Labor’s 45 per cent reckless target and 50 per cent reckless RET will:

  • Cost the economy an additional $472 billion. I’m not kidding - $472 billion, almost half a trillion dollars
  • It’ll slash more than 336,000 jobs,
  • It’ll cut the average wage from what it would otherwise be by over $9,000 a year. That makes the carbon tax look like a mosquito bite. This thing is a chunk out of people’s living wage.
  • It’ll increase wholesale electricity prices by more than 58 per cent.

That’s not a sensible target, it’s a reckless target. And it will come at a tremendous cost to Australians.

Sure you can have them, you can have higher targets. But they come at a tremendous cost.  

A cost far worse, as I said, than the Carbon Tax Labor said they wouldn’t introduce, and then did and then our Government had to abolish. Which again Greg Hunt led the charge on.

So Labor runs around the country telling industries and businesses about their target and say ‘you’ll be exempted and you’ll be exempted‘. They go up to the aluminium smelter in Boyne Island and say we’ll exempt you and we’ll exempt you. Well, they both can’t be true. It cannot be true because if they were to do all of those things, they would have absolutely no hope of meeting their emissions reductions targets as they’ve set it out.

Their targets depend, in fact they rely on shutting industries and businesses down. You can’t achieve that any other way.

So they’re either lying about the targets they’re setting or they’re are lying about the impact on jobs, especially in heavy industries and the agricultural sector. Either way, you can’t trust Labor when it comes to this issue.

That’s why I say it is important to have balance in your emissions reductions policies – You’ve got to have the cool head as well as the passionate heart – which is our approach.

Based on our performance to date, our target is also achievable.

If you measure the success of policy by whether it achieves the objective you set for it, the success of our policies on climate change policy is clear.

Australia beat our first Kyoto 2012 greenhouse gas reduction target by 128 million tonnes.

After our election in 2013 it was our Government’s job to get Australia back on track to meet our Kyoto 2020 targets.

In November of last year, the United Nations Environment Programme released its annual Emissions Gap reporting which confirmed Australia was on track to meet our 2020 targets.

But this was no small achievement. This didn’t happen by accident, by good luck. It happened because we took important decisions and we took action.

In 2013 we inherited from Labor a 755 million tonne projected deficit on our Kyoto 2020 targets. That was our starting point. We are now expecting to over achieve on that same target by 367 million tonnes. That is a $1.1 billion, sorry 1.1 billion tonne turn around. I’m used to talking about the turnaround we’ve made on deficits – and they usually apply to the budget.


But I tell you the work that Greg and Josh and Melissa have been doing in this area is just as significant. That’s what we’ve been able to achieve by our budget – when it comes to finances.

Not all other G20 countries can say this. Australia is right out ahead. Canada can’t say it about 2020. They might say they’ve got higher targets but they’re currently not meeting the targets they’ve already set. Indonesia, Mexico, the Republic of Korea, South Africa, the USA and Germany, they’re not on track to meet targets they’ve previously set – let alone exceed them.

So let’s not talk down what Australia is doing and the heavy lifting that we’ve been doing to achieve those targets and as Melissa was reminding me yesterday, they come to us when we go to these conferences – and ask us how we’re achieving this so well.

So we are in a very small club. A club that has been exceeding our targets under our policies as a Government.

And also I should stress, unlike other countries such as New Zealand and I met with Prime Minister Ardern on Friday who reminded me that they will need to meet their targets by doing business with foreign carbon traders. They will need to do it by spending taxpayer’s money on foreign carbon credits. That’s not what we are proposing today. That’s not what we are going to have to do based on the plan that I’ve set out today.

Our Government has achieved our goals through a combination of successful policy measures.

The Emission Reduction Fund, which was the centrepiece of the direct action initiative, supports farmers, landholders and Indigenous communities to deliver practical projects such as savannah fire management, energy efficiency, capturing methane from local landfills and storing carbon in soils.

So far, the Fund has contracted 193 million tonnes of emissions reduction at an average price of around $12 per tonne.  There remains around $226 million uncommitted in that Fund – and that will be used to roll out those options.

The Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) is set at 33,000 gigawatt hours by 2020. The Clean Energy Regulator (CER) has said the 2020 LRET will be met.

According to the CER, 2018 was a record year for installations of large-scale renewable power stations, Angus has reminded us of on many occasions, with more than 360 power stations representing 3,300 megawatts of capacity completed and beginning generation.

That’s a lot of power.

This comfortably exceeded the record of around 1,000 megawatts that was set in 2017.

Now forgive me for going into such length and into so much detail today so early in the morning but I think this is important to set out the facts when it comes to our action on climate change – and so I pray your indulgence because I’ve got a bit to get through yet. Because there’s a lot we’ve been doing.

The CER has forecast another record (of around 4,300 megawatts) in 2019.

Now the CER has not yet published data for rooftop solar installations in 2018, but has forecast it will be in the order of 1,600 megawatts, which will comfortably break the 1,100 megawatts record set in 2017. One in five Australian households have rooftop solar and this is expected to grow to one in four over the next four years.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) continues to invest in renewable, energy efficiency and low emissions technologies, including energy storage and electric vehicles. It is the largest organisation of its kind in the world today investing in clean energy, with countries lining up, as Melissa reminded me again yesterday, looking to learn from its success.

The CEFC has committed $6.4 billion in finance to over 110 projects across the country and around $3.6 billion remains for future projects.

ARENA provides grant funding to emerging renewable energy and enabling technologies (including energy storage). It supports projects at the research, development and demonstration stage of the innovation cycle.

ARENA has provided over $1.4 billion in grant funding to 441 projects, and around $350 million remains for future projects.

Under the National Energy Productivity Plan, the NEPP as they like to call it. They’ve got as much like for acronyms as the defence industry in the environmental sector. The minimum energy performance standards or energy rating labels apply to 20 residential, commercial and industrial equipment’s and appliances, including refrigerators, washing machines, commercial chillers and industrial motors.

This is all really practical stuff.

These standards are saving households, on average, between $90 and $190 per year on their energy bills. Over 2001-14, they reduced Australia’s emissions by around 29 million tonnes.

So it’s a win win.

The Commercial Buildings Disclosure scheme requires owners or landlords to measure and disclose the energy efficiency of commercial office space to prospective buyers and tenants. By driving improvements in commercial building energy efficiency, the scheme is projected to save owners and tenants almost $100 million on their energy bills over 2010-2019.

The CEFC has provided $170 million in concessional finance towards the construction of energy efficient community housing. This is incredibly important.


On the back of our success in reducing ozone, we have legislated the phase-down of ozone depleting HFCs, the potent greenhouse gas used in refrigeration and air conditioning equipment.

Our phase down - 85 per cent by 2036 - is ahead of the global response, yet again, agreed under the Montreal Protocol.

The Australian Government’s carbon neutral certification is also helping businesses voluntarily reduce and offset greenhouse gas emissions.  

So that’s a lot, isn’t it? That is a lot.

Our task is to now meet our commitment to reduce our emissions by 26 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

That’s the task now before us.

That is why today I am announcing the Australian Government’s Climate Solutions Package.

It is a comprehensive, fully costed, $3.5 billion plan, over the next decade, to deliver on Australia’s 2030 emissions reduction targets, and to do so in a canter, just as we have on our targets to date.

It is a plan that builds on our success that I have outlined, in comprehensively beating our Kyoto commitments.

As Liberals and Nationals we say what we will do and we just get on and we do it.  That’s our form. Whether on this issue, or any issue you care to nominate.

Unlike Labor’s plan, our policies mean we can reduce emissions while growing our economy and keeping electricity prices lower.

In 2008, official estimates suggested we would need to reduce emissions by 3.3 billion tonnes to meet our 2030 target.

Today, as you can see, that task, as a result of the actions we have taken as a government over the last five and a half years combined [inaduble], is now 328 million tonnes to reach a 26 per cent target and it’s falling. 

That is an extraordinary turnaround that we’ve been able to preside over.

To help us achieve this task, I’m announcing today a new Climate Solutions Fund, to carry forward the work of the Government’s Emissions Reduction Fund – that’s at the heart of our Direct Action Imitative when we came to government in 2013 – with an additional $2 billion investment over the next ten years.

As I mentioned, the ERF has already secured 193 million tonnes of abatement through 477 projects across Australia. This is the largest ever emissions reduction commitment by Australian businesses and landholders.

Our new Climate Solutions Fund will deliver additional practical climate solutions across the country, and it’s going to do it in partnership with businesses large and small, local communities in particular remote Indigenous communities and farmers.  

Floating everybody’s boat.

Agricultural projects will cover activities such as revegetating degraded land and increasing soil carbon to improve farm productivity and resilience.  This not only reduces emissions but has clear economic advantages as well, in many cases providing much needed income in farming communities.

The benefits go well beyond abatement. The purpose goes well beyond abatement. The abatement we bank. The benefits of improved productivity in a growing economy, stronger local and regional communities, we bank that to.

Under the existing ERF, soil carbon sequestration projects are being conducted across a number of properties, including right here in Victoria.

We’ve shown what can be achieved working with remote Indigenous communities to reduce the risk of severe bushfires.  Late season wildfires produced over 50 per cent more carbon emissions than controlled burning early in the dry season.

On Fish River in the Northern Territory, Indigenous rangers are working with conservation groups to introduce traditional, traditional I underscore, early dry-season burning practices, in the process reducing methane and nitrous oxide emissions released by savannah wildfires.  

Other areas of focus under the new Fund include support for local communities to reduce waste and increase recycling rates.

Melissa Price, as Minister for the Environment will work with stakeholders to build greater co-benefits into program design under the Climate Solutions Fund, including biodiversity, water quality, Indigenous employment, recycling and productivity improvements.

It goes well beyond abatement. Melissa will be driving that cause to ensure the multiple dividends that can be achieved from this significant investment.

The Government will also improve the operation of the ERF Safeguard Mechanism, to reduce costs for business and make it fairer and simpler.

The Climate Solutions Fund will deliver an additional 103 million tonnes of greenhouse gas reductions by 2030.  This represents almost a third of the amount of reductions needed to meet our target.

The second pillar of our Climate Solutions Package is Australia’s renewable hydro-electricity reserves in the Snowy Mountains and Tasmania. Renewable and reliable.

We will continue the work of turning world class renewable hydro into Australia’s largest batteries.

These reserves are world class. I’ve seen them myself. They already deliver low cost renewable electricity to millions of Australian families and businesses.

We have a once in a generation opportunity to redesign our world class hydro assets into new pumped hydro stations. Pumped hydro can deliver 24/7 round-the-clock renewable and reliable power.

It is used extensively and effectively overseas, but not on a wide scale basis here in Australia.  Almost all energy storage capacity in the United States is supplied by pumped hydro; a technology that can be some 50 times less expensive in supplying electricity compared with lithium batteries.

We will shortly make an announcement on our investment in Snowy 2.0, initiated by Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister.  Today I want to detail our plan, working with the Tasmanian Government, to deliver additional reliable, zero-emissions electricity generation to mainland Australia.

Our Government will commit $56 million, right now, this year, to fast track the development of a second electricity transmission interconnector – the MarinusLink – to unlock Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation.

The Battery of the Nation is expected to deliver up to 2,500 megawatts of reliable, renewable hydro power to Tasmania and Victoria - including up to 16 gigawatt hours of storage.

Through the MarinusLink, the Battery of the Nation is also expected to reduce national emissions by 25 million tonnes by 2030.

MarinusLink will enable over 400 megawatts of existing – it’s right there, right now – existing dispatchable, reliable generation to be transmitted here into Victoria; power currently unavailable due to limited BassLink interconnector capacity. 400 megawatts is enough to power up to 400,000 homes.  

The type of reliable generation was sorely needed during the recent Victoria heatwave when lack of access to reliable baseload power caused major black-outs across this state.  

Subject to development of the business case and funding arrangements, we expect the MarinusLink to be able to supply Victorians with electricity from 2025.  It will also open up opportunities for intermittent renewables in Northern Tasmania.

The construction of the Marinus Link is expected to generate between 500 and 1000 jobs during construction in Tasmania and between 900 and 1500 jobs in regional Victoria.

Ultimately, MarinusLink and Battery of the Nation mean lower prices, greater energy security particularly for Tasmania, Victoria as well as other mainland states, while helping Australia achieve its 2030 emissions reduction target.

I want to thank Premier Hodgman and Guy Barnett, the Energy Minister in Tasmania for the great work they’ve been doing with Angus and myself and Josh as we’ve been working through the details in recent times.

Premier Hodgman has a great vision for the Battery of the Nation project. We share his vision and we are investing in it as I’ve announced here today.

Now other measures to lower emissions – there are three other parts of our Climate Solutions Package and I’ll touch on them briefly.

The Government will make a substantial investment in helping households and businesses improve energy efficiency to support practical action on emissions while also delivering lower energy bills.  

Energy ratings labels on appliances and equipment allow consumers to compare the running costs of different models and the financial savings of buying a more efficient appliance. Giving them the tools they need.   

The Australian Government will work with industry and state and territory governments to also expand the Energy Rating Label.

We will also cooperate with other governments and industry to improve energy efficiency standards for both commercial and residential buildings.  Through the Climate Solutions Package, we will provide resources, training and tools to help commercial and residential building owners and occupiers reduce their energy use.

Taken together, these measures are expected to reduce emissions by 63 million tonnes by 2030.  We will have more to say on the detail of those measures shortly.

The Government is developing a National Electric Vehicle Strategy to ensure the transition to new vehicle technology and infrastructure is carefully planned and managed.

Through that Strategy the Government will investigate mandating an electric vehicle plug type to improve the consistency and interoperability of public charging.

It’s got to be practical. It’s got to be [inaudible]

Our goal is to secure benefits for all Australians in the form of cleaner air, better health, smarter cities, lower transport costs and, of course, lower emissions.  

This Strategy is expected to yield up to around 10 million tonnes of abatement.  It will build on the work of the COAG Transport and Infrastructure Council, as well as support through ARENA and CEFC.

Finally, we are also committed to continue to work on cleaning and greening our communities through Landcare and other community grants to support local communities taking practical action to reduce emissions, improve air and water quality, protect the environment and make Australians healthier.

I saw that for myself in Gippsland yesterday when I was meeting with local Landcare workers on the ground in dealing the drought there in Gippsland.

There is further impetus coming from technological change and improved efficiency, ensuring Australia is well placed to achieve our targets.

In the 2018 Australian Emissions Projections report, Australia’s task to reach its 2030 target, as I said, has fallen to 328 million tonnes – that included an improvement of 173 million tonnes on the back of technology changes, improved productivity and other sources of abatement.

We’re on the curb. We’re on the path with many of these other things that are happening and that will ensure we were able to reach our targets.

On conservative estimates, more than 100 million tonnes is expected from these ongoing abatement sources, including as a result of investment of unallocated funds in the CEFC, faster uptake of technologies such as improved refrigeration and air conditioning equipment standards and the ERF safeguard mechanism.

So in conclusion.

Our Government will take, and is taking, meaningful, practical, sensible, responsible action on climate change, without damaging our economy or your family budget.

This has always been our pledge. It’s what we said when we were elected in 2013 and we’ve been delivering on it. It’s our record. It remains our commitment.

Our Climate Solutions Package will ensure Australia meets our 2030 emissions reduction target in a canter - a responsible and achievable target - building on our success in comprehensively meeting and beating our Kyoto commitments to date.  

We’ve got the record.

By 2030, we will have slashed the emissions intensity of our economy by two-thirds compared with 2005. That’s no slouch of a commitment or achievement- a truly remarkable one given our country’s size, population density, growth profile and economic strengths in agriculture and resources.  

We will continue to play our part in meeting the global challenge of climate change in the 21st century – and we can hold our head up high in what we are doing. And we will not, and I will not allow others to talk down what Australia is achieving in this area.

Australians have been working very hard on this issue led by a Government with practical policies and I will not have their efforts talked down and degraded. They are doing a tremendous job – both a passionate heart and a very clear and cool head.

And so we’ll do that without taking a sledgehammer to our economy.

Without putting our electricity market at risk.  Without putting pressure upward on electricity prices. Without destroying jobs in our traditional industries and in regional Australia.

This is the responsible and balanced course. Today I have set out how we’re going to meet our targets.

Our targets are sensible and practical. People may disagree with what our targets are. But today I believe I have set out why they are credible, responsible, achievable targets.

I’m yet to see that from the Labor Party. I’m yet to see how they plan to achieve their target which will require three times what you can see there on that chart.

And for them to be honest about the impact on jobs. About the impact on agriculture. On our minerals and resources sector. Our forestry’s sector. All of which support Australian’s livelihood.

Labor are not telling you the truth about their plans. They’re either lying to you about what they are claiming to be wanting to do or they’re lying to you about what the impact of that will be.

I’m being straight up with you. Absolutely straight up. We know what the target it. I’ve set out the way to get there.

Our team will meet that target because we have the plans and commitment in place. And at the end of the day, that’s what matters. Being able to deliver on what you say you are going to do.

Whether it’s on addressing climate change, addressing our economic challenges, addressing our national security challenges. We are saying clearly what we’re going to do – and how we’re able to achieve it which is why you can trust us. To do what we say we are going to do.

And that is why we must stay the course.

Thank you very much for your time.