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Minister for the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts 2001-2004

The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP



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Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp

25 June 2004

The madness of King Bob

Senator Bob Brown today reaffirmed his life membership of the political lunatic fringe with his speech on the Australian Energy Market Bill.

In a performance that was breathtaking in both its extremism and dishonesty, Brown proposed an amendment to the Bill that would have amended the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target to 10 per cent by 2010 and 20 per cent by 2020.

Brown's amendment, had it been passed, would have come at a cost of some $40 billion and plunged Australia's energy resources and economy into crisis and slashed resources for environmental repair.

Senator Brown showed again that he does not understand, nor care for, the health of the Australian economy and the vital role of growth in providing resources for the environment. He is prepared to impose his extremist ideology on us without any concern for the price that would be paid by all Australians.

The first result of such an increase would have been an immediate and massive hike in the price of residential electricity prices.

The next would be the mass decommissioning of well-performing power plants around Australia to accommodate the non-competitive renewable power stations mandated by Brown's gross irresponsibility.

In his speech, Senator Brown also claimed that I had 'recognised' that Australia will need to source 50 to 60 per cent of its energy needs from renewable sources. I have never made such a claim. Bob Brown knows that and has again deliberately misled the Parliament.

Renewables have an important role to play in meeting our future energy and greenhouse requirements and with the continuing support from the Howard Government, these technologies will find their place in the market.

Unlike the Greens, the Howard Government will not sacrifice the economy, our industries and our jobs and our environment on the altar of ideology.

Commonwealth of Australia