Doorstop, Sydney

Transcript

29 October 2019

E&OE

ANGUS TAYLOR: It is a pleasure to be here to talk to the property sector about the Government's focus on reaching our emission reduction targets by 2030. Of course, we've laid out through our Climate Solutions Package, a $3.5 billion package, exactly how we're going to achieve those targets right down to the last tonne. We have an extraordinary track record of delivering emissions reductions and achieving our international obligations. We’re 367 million tonnes ahead already of our 2020 targets, and as I said, we've laid out to the last tonne how we're going to achieve our 2030 targets.

Now the contrast is that at the last election, Labor took to the Australian people a plan to almost halve emissions, a 45 per cent emissions reduction target, which we know is going to slash the economy. We have Albanese out there today talking about jobs, about the economy, and about wages, but he's not prepared to drop his emission reduction targets. We know his targets will slash wages by $9,000 a year, will slash jobs by 336,000, and will put a big dent in the economy, particularly in regional areas and energy-intensive sectors like agriculture, manufacturing and in transport. The truth is that unless Albanese is prepared to drop his reckless targets, everything he says in his speech tonight is a fairy-tale because you can't simply reconcile those reckless targets with a strong economy, strong wages and strong jobs growth.

JOURNALIST: Do you believe that admission that their policy wasn't in line with public expectations?

ANGUS TAYLOR: I think their policy was out of line with a strong economy, and the public wants a government that's going to pursue a strong economy, strong jobs growth, and we've seen exactly that from this Government over the last six years and we're continuing to see record jobs growth. We can reconcile that with achieving our international obligations as long as the target is sensible and we take a proportionate, balanced approach to achieving that target. That's exactly what we're doing with that $3.5 billion Climate Solutions Package. The contrast from Labor is clear: reckless targets slashing jobs, slashing growth, slashing the economy. The idea that he's supporting blue-collar jobs and manufacturing across Australia is a fairy-tale as long as he hangs on to those targets.

JOURNALIST: On another point, will you release the City of Sydney document that you downloaded or documents relating to it?

ANGUS TAYLOR: Look, I made a statement on this on Friday last week. I'm not going to run a running commentary on it. I've said what I'm going to say.

JOURNALIST: Are you embarrassed about those numbers by saying that in Parliament, Mr Taylor?

ANGUS TAYLOR: I have made a statement on this. As I said, we'll get a letter off to Clover Moore this week, and you know I'm focusing on the crucial things that Australians want which is affordable energy, reliable energy and reaching our international obligations. That's what I'm talking to the property sector about today.

JOURNALIST: And what about Labor referring it to the police, what's your thoughts?

ANGUS TAYLOR: Well as I've said, I’ve made comments on this. I mean, we know that Labor has a track record of using referrals as a political tool. I've made my comments on this, I haven't got any more to add.

JOURNALIST: Labor says that you're distracted from your task of reducing emissions. Are you able to do your day job?

ANGUS TAYLOR: I'm here doing my day job today. I'm talking to the property sector about really crucial initiatives. Look, energy efficiency is one of the ways we can reduce the cost of energy for businesses, improve reliability in the grid and reach our international obligations without weakening the economy. That's why I'm so focused on it. In our Climate Solutions Package, over 60 million tonnes of our abatement is coming from energy efficiency initiatives, and that's what I'm talking to the sector, the property sector about today. These are the sorts of initiatives that allow you to reconcile a policy of a strong economy and jobs growth with reaching international obligations, and that's what we're all about. I'm focused on it every day.

JOURNALIST: In your speech you said your KPIs were set when you come into the job. How difficult have you found that? Has it been tough?

ANGUS TAYLOR: It's not easy when you have an opposition that has reckless targets. I mean, the opposition has a set of targets that we know will slash jobs, slash the economy and slash wages. The good news is the Australian people want a balanced approach to these tough issues. They want balance between more investment, world leading investment in renewables but making sure we've got enough dispatchable power - coal, gas and hydro - in the system to keep the lights on and bring prices down. They want balance between a strong economy and delivering emissions reductions in line with our international obligations, and that's the balance that we focus on every day. It is time for the opposition to drop the reckless targets which were rejected by Australia at the last election. Any notion that the opposition, that Albanese is focused on blue-collar workers, manufacturing, energy intensive industries when at the same time they're hanging on to those reckless targets is a fairy-tale.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction