Bill Shorten commented on the Turnbull Government proposition to provide a $1 billion loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund (NAIF) on 6 December:
If the Adani coal mine stacks up commercially, then we welcome the jobs that will be provided in Queensland. In terms of accessing taxpayer money through the NAIF, we haven't seen the case made out for that. The deal should stand up under its own commercial merits.
Also, as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald of 6 December, even Adani itself has stated that a NAIF loan is not a prerequisite for the line.
Labor would be very concerned if the Federal Government was considering spending a fifth of the fund on one project. That would take money away from other vital job generating projects for Northern Australia.
Whether a particular project proceeds is a commercial decision, and mining approvals are generally a matter for state governments but jobs for Central Queensland is always welcome news.
Whilst Labor knows that conventional fuels will be an important part of our energy mix in the future we also recognise that the growth in renewable energy, from reducing costs and improving technology, will continue to expand over the coming years.
Labor, however, shares the general concerns over the impact of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef.
Labor’s climate policy is far superior to that of the Government’s and, in conjunction with concerted global climate change action, has the best chance of mitigating global warming impacts on the Reef.
Labor accepts the advice of scientists, and is committed to strong action on climate change, not only because it is good for the environment, but because it is good economics.
The Turnbull Government’s approach on climate change is being dictated by members of the Liberal Party who don’t think we need to act. Their policy is an expensive fig leaf and Mr Turnbull is too weak to stand up for what he knows is right. Australia deserves better.