Doorstop - Parliament House, Canberra


ANGUS TAYLOR: Yesterday I had a constructive and collegiate discussion with the National Party party room, and I'm sure I'll be doing the same today with the Liberal Party party room. We talked about a sensible plan for reducing emissions over the longer term. A plan that focuses on technology, not taxes. A plan that strengthens our regions, that strengthens jobs in our traditional industries like agriculture, manufacturing and resources, and mining. A plan that will ensure we put downward pressure on electricity prices, not upward pressure. And a plan that ensures that Australian's have a pathway forward for reducing emissions that doesn't add costs, that doesn't destroy businesses, and that does ensure that we have a strong Australia for many decades to come. The centrepiece of our plan is technology, not taxes - we're not going to add cost - but we are going to deploy those technologies that are emerging, and have been emerging for many years, that allow us to reduce emissions, and at the same time strengthen our economy. We've seen dramatic reductions in the cost of solar in recent years. Australia's played an important role in shaping that technology and will continue to. We're seeing great potential with new technologies like hydrogen, stored energy, projects like Snowy 2.0, but in addition to that we're going to continue to see our traditional industries playing an enormously important role in our energy system, our energy exports and the strength of our overall economy.

JOURNALIST: Minister, the Nationals clearly aren't on board yet. What impression did you get they want out of this? 

ANGUS TAYLOR: Well, it was a constructive and collegiate discussion, and it was one that focussed on the issues that do matter to, not just the National Party, but to all Australians - making sure we've got strong regions, making sure we've got strong industries that support our regional areas and support Australia's economy. They are absolutely the right questions, and they're the ones that we'll continue to discuss. But I think all of us have a common interest in making sure there is no destruction of jobs, there's no extra costs being added, and that's what our plan, that's what our plan is focused on.

JOURNALIST: But how do you do that? How do you-

ANGUS TAYLOR: Technology, not taxes. So, at the end of the day technology allows us to bring down emissions and strengthen our economy at the same time, and we've seen it. We now have one in four Australian houses with solar on roofs. It's having a material, substantial, in fact, the highest level of household solar in the world, and that's made a significant contribution to us being almost 21 per cent down in our emissions on the 2005 baseline year. Now that's stronger performance than countries like Canada and New Zealand - big commodity exporters like Australia. It's stronger than the United States. It's stronger than Japan. It's stronger than the OECD average. And it's certainly stronger than China that's seen emissions rise over 70 per cent in that time frame. So this is how we do it. We've got a track record in doing it this way, and we're going to continue to focus on that technology, not taxes approach. 

JOURNALIST: Have you already made a concession, though, by not putting in a revised 2030 target into the plan? 

ANGUS TAYLOR: We'll put out our updated projections in advance of Glasgow in the coming days, and our projections have always improved on the previous year. We set a target, we meet it and we beat it. It's a very, very straight approach to this, and it has worked. It will always work.

JOURNALIST: But the point, but the plan doesn’t include a revised target?

ANGUS TAYLOR: Achievement is what counts here. Achievement is what counts here. We have the runs on the board, we'll continue to have runs on the scoreboard. And importantly, importantly its outcomes that matter to solve this problem. 

JOURNALIST: What happens if we can't reach net zero by 2050, if you can't reach a deal by the time the PM goes to Glasgow? What happens? 

ANGUS TAYLOR: As I say, we're having collegiate discussions with the National Party. We'll continue to. We have a plan which we've been putting in place for some time - the Technology Investment Roadmap we launched in September last year - it laid out very clearly our approach to bringing down emissions. That plan and those policies are well funded, $20 billion of investment from the Federal Government. We're expecting that to bring forward $80 billion plus of investment from across the private sector and state governments, as well as our investments - these are very substantial. And, and that plan is happening now. It's the centrepiece of the Australian way, the Australian approach to doing this that recognises the strengths of our economy, that capitalises on the strengths of our economies, and it doesn't destroy jobs in the regions where we have traditionally industries. 

JOURNALIST: But this is also going to require negotiation for some days ahead? What are you prepared to give the Nationals in order to get them on board for this plan? 

ANGUS TAYLOR: I'm not going to get into negotiation discussions here. What I am going to say, though, is that the National Party's interest is very similar to our interest, as the Liberal Party. It is aligned with making sure that we have a strong Australia, we have strong regions, that we have strong job creation across the regional areas, that we protect and strengthen our traditional industries. That's what I want to see, that's what all Liberals want to see, and that's what the National Party wants to see-

JOURNALIST: More infrastructure-

ANGUS TAYLOR: And I'm very confident, I'm very confident that, not only does our plan do that, it will continue.