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Renewable Energy

Hansard ID: HANSARD-1323879322-125580

Hansard session: Fifty-Seventh Parliament, First Session (57-1)

Renewable Energy

Mr MARK COURE (OatleyMinister for Multiculturalism, and Minister for Seniors) (17:54:20):

— Climate change is arguably one of the greatest issues that our State, our country and our planet faces. Achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and cutting emissions in half by 2030 is no easy task, but I am confident the New South Wales Government has the right plan to achieve this goal. Our part of the globe has some of the widest varieties of animals, plants, climates and biomes in the world. From the tropics and the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland and the sandy beaches up and down New South Wales—including those in my electorate—to the deserts of outback Australia, our country is vast, beautiful and precious. Its natural beauty makes it all the more important to address climate change and drastically reduce our carbon emissions to a sustainable level. This will save our planet, protect our animals and safeguard our kids' future.

That is why I support the New South Wales Government's announcement of its ambitious, nation‑leading goal of reducing emissions by 50 per cent come the year 2030. This first-class plan will aim to attract over $37 billion worth of investment in clean energy production across New South Wales. The new target will mean more jobs, more economic growth and reduced energy costs in my electorate of Oatley and across the State. It is estimated that the Government's plan will, on average, save energy consumers around $130 a year. It will not only improve our environment but also turn New South Wales into a renewable energy superpower. Wind farms, solar farms, hydropower and many other renewable energy sources will be the way of the future for our State.

The Government's Net Zero Plan is set to boost the number of jobs within our State, helping people get back on their feet after the struggles that the Delta outbreak caused. It will help lower unemployment by providing over 9,000 high‑quality and well‑paid jobs. This boost in jobs figures will contribute to making New South Wales the first trillion‑dollar State by 2030, further cementing our status as the best State in the country. The plan will include a number of industry programs that will be targeted to ensure that every sector of the economy has concrete solutions to help them reduce emissions. These include agricultural initiatives that will reduce livestock methane through selective breeding and feed technologies, limit nitrous oxide emissions from soils, and enhance vegetation across the State.

The Government's plan will limit fugitive emissions from the New South Wales coalmining sector, helping to both save jobs and ensure that mining has a viable future in our green new world. The Government's plan to heavily invest in renewable energy sources couples with its nation‑leading plan to invest $490 million to support the rollout of new electric vehicles across New South Wales—and I have seen many of them in my electorate of Oatley. Modelling of the Government's plan shows that emissions in New South Wales are projected to fall by between 47 per cent and 52 per cent by 2030. Such a drop in emissions gives our planet some breathing room, which will allow ecosystems to recover and prevent the irreversible damage that a global temperature rise of over 1.5 degrees Celsius will cause.

The impacts of the plan can be seen directly within my electorate. I have had the pleasure of riding on one of the many new electric buses that are set to become part of the new public transport green corridor from Hurstville to Oatley. These new buses mean that people can rest easy knowing that there are less carbon emissions in the air and less noise pollution on their local streets. I also note the establishment in New South Wales of Australia's first ever renewable energy zone, a nation‑leading program that will droughtproof traditional farming communities and provide new income streams for landholders that host electricity infrastructure.

By cutting emissions in half by 2030, the New South Wales Government is putting in place a holistic plan that will combat climate change at the source. The plan will ensure that our State is equipped now and into the future to meet the needs of our economy as we transition to a more environmentally friendly economic model of operation. Safeguarding our environment is an important job for any government across the globe; our future depends on developing and maintaining plans that will support our economy and our environment. It is important that our plans are considerate of our diverse economy, which will ensure that nobody is left behind as the world transitions to a greener future. I commend the Government's forward‑thinking plan to halve emissions by 2030 and cut emissions to zero by 2050. It will help our State now and into the future.