Mr RAMSEY (Grey–Government Whip) (16:03): I rise to table a petition today, drawn up and signed by concerned members of my electorate. The chief petitioner is my constituent Fiona Plunkett of Port Augusta, and the petition has 2,153 signatures. These 2,153 people have asked that the House do all in its power to protect communities in Australia and the region from the harmful impacts of climate change, such as severe heat, extreme and unpredictable weather and rising seas. On 22 August I met with a group of very motivated and committed students from Caritas College in Port Augusta. It was great to sit down and speak across the table about their concerns for the future and the things that this government is doing to address them. Good on them, I say.
Mr RAMSEY: The petition has coincided with the government’s release of the National Energy Guarantee, which has been endorsed by the Energy Security Board. Our energy plan will reduce emissions consistent with our Paris target of 26 to 28 per cent reductions on 2005 levels by 2030. The pre-eminent body in energy policy in this country, the Energy Security Board, with the endorsement of the heads of the Australian Energy Market Operator, the Australian Energy Market Commission and the Australian Energy Regulator, has affirmed that the government’s National Energy Guarantee will meet our Paris targets. Australia’s emissions per capita and per unit of GDP are currently at their lowest in 27 years, and we have a strong record of meeting and beating our emission reduction targets. Australia is on track to beat its 2020 target of five per cent on 2000 levels by 224 million tonnes.
As a nation, we have made a strong suite of policies in this place to meet our targets, including the phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons which will reduce up to 80 million tonnes of emissions. The Emissions Reduction Fund has contracted 189 million tonnes of emissions abatement at $11.83 per tonne. A Renewable Energy Target of 23.5 per cent by 2020 will be achieved. The National Energy Productivity Plan will deliver 40 per cent improvement in efficiency by 2030. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has committed grant funding of $1.1 billion to date, and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation has financed more than $3½ billion worth of new projects around Australia since 2013. I am particularly pleased to be tabling this petition today and particularly pleased that it comes from such a group of young and concerned citizens who are so committed to Australia’s future. When I sit down and talk to them, I feel as though Australia will be in safe hands in the future. I thank them for their commitment.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Howarth ): Member for Grey, has the petition been approved by the Petitions Committee?
Mr RAMSEY: It has been.