'I'M A SCEPTIC': Shorten pushes solar batteries, not Adani
AS OPPOSITION leader Bill Shorten drove through Childers on his way to Bundaberg this week, he took note of the large number of solar panels before him, sparking a commitment to the Bundaberg community to grow the country's renewable energy industry.
At a town hall meeting on Monday, Mr Shorten said an elected Federal Labor Government would be "fair dinkum on renewables" and climate change.
"Coal is still going to be part of Australia's export mix and we use it as part of our energy mix, and that would continue for the foreseeable future, but what I'm not prepared to do is say business as usual is the way forward," he said.
The assertion was in response to a question posed by Bundaberg resident Sarah Baldry - the youngest of more than 10 people who put their concerns to Mr Shorten at the Bundaberg Bowls Club on Monday night.
"If the (proposed) Adani mine extracts its goal peak of 60 million tonnes of coal per year, the average emissions of that will be 120 millions tons of CO2 a year ... What do you intend to do to oppose this mine going ahead?" Ms Baldry asked.
Mr Shorten admitted he was a sceptic of the mine but said Labor would have to "wait and see if it stacks up scientifically, environmentally and commercially".
"They've missed a lot of deadlines and now the Queensland Government's having a review of one of their standards, so I'm a sceptic of it," he said.
"Additionally, they started off saying it would produce 10,000 jobs, now they say it'll bring 1000 jobs.
"But the fact of the matter is that renewable energy is getting cheaper all the time, and the fact of the matter is that we need to take action on climate change."
Mr Shorten said if his party won the next federal election, the government wouldn't put all its "eggs" in the coal basket.
"The reality ... is that Australian people are so far ahead of the current government when it comes to climate change and renewable energy it's not funny," he laughed.
"Two million Australian households have moved to solar (already)."
The Opposition leader said as renewable technology got cheaper he wanted to introduce a new policy that would see more Australian households have acess to solar batteries.
"Batteries are the sweet spot ... (they) join the last missing dots in the debate," Mr Shorten told people at the late-night meeting.
He said he wanted to hand down the "best deal for our kids," people's homes and the continent, which could only be achieved by backing science and the cheapest technology.
Building off Labor's goal of 50 per cent renewables by 2030, Mr Shorten said he wanted Australia to be a modern country that wasn't scared of the future.
"I think we are at a tipping point in the Australian political debate ... because the status quo isn't working," he said.