Question without Notice: Banning offshore drilling for oil and gas
Mr HIBBINS (Prahran): My question is for the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change. Minister, two weeks ago the New South Wales government announced that they will effectively ban offshore drilling for oil and gas. Will the Victorian government now do the same?
Ms D’AMBROSIO (Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change): I thank the member for Prahran for the question. There is a lot that can be said about this campaign that has been run by the member for Prahran and a number of others on this notion of drilling offshore for gas, and can I just say that it is easy to ban offshore gas drilling when
there is no such gas offshore, as is the case in New South Wales, may I say.
The SPEAKER: Order! Members on my right!
Ms D’AMBROSIO: It is predicated on a scare campaign about offshore drilling, and it is something that, as I said, is really about fearmongering. I think it is really important that those opposite, the Greens, need to be very careful about the fearmongering that takes place instead of the facts. These are the facts: there is no-one that is proposing to drill under the Twelve Apostles, because that is exactly what this question is about. No-one is proposing to drill under the Twelve Apostles Marine National Park; no-one is proposing to do that. If you cannot win on your arguments, then you resort to scare campaigns and misinformation. Never have the Greens been less relevant to climate change and
renewable energy than they are right now because they resort to scare campaigns and misinformation. We are getting on with it, delivering the biggest reform in climate change, climate action, with the biggest reforms in renewable energy. We will deliver it. Anything offshore—they might be on a raft, but they have got no paddle and they are not going anywhere very quickly.
Mr HIBBINS: Let us talk about the facts and let us talk about the fact that the state government has opened up vast new areas of Victoria’s coastline for oil and gas exploration. That is the fact. Let us talk about the fact that the state government is now proposing—
Mr HIBBINS: They do not want to hear the facts. They were all about the facts before; now they do not want to know about the facts.
The SPEAKER: Order! The member for Prahran has the call.
Mr HIBBINS: Well, the facts are that the state government are now supporting gas production next to the Twelve Apostles marine park. So will the state government reverse its decision, step in, stop new gas production next to the Twelve Apostles marine park and support the Greens bill to ban all future oil and gas drilling in Victoria’s waters to protect our climate?
Ms D’AMBROSIO: Speaker, I will refrain from getting as frustrated as I was in the last sitting week.
The SPEAKER: Order! Members will come to order.
A member interjected.
Mr Hibbins: On a point of order, Speaker, the minister for industry just indicated that we wanted
to ban oil and gas drilling so we could import more from Russia.
A member: No, he didn’t.
Mr Hibbins: Well, I ask the minister to either withdraw that offensive remark or to state whether that is actually government policy now.
The SPEAKER: Order! That is not a point of order.
Ms D’AMBROSIO: The record speaks for itself. We set about reducing our emissions by between 15 and 20 per cent by 2020. We exceeded that two years earlier. We are sitting at nearly 25 per cent reduction. This is real action. Those others on the Greens bench might actually want to quibble with the particular parts of the equation that you need to respond to to get the outcomes. We are outcomes driven. That is what speaks for us. We are creating new jobs, we are reducing emissions and in fact we are actually reducing emissions the fastest of any state in this country.
Ms Sandell: On a point of order, Speaker, the supplementary was very clearly about oil and gas drilling, not about renewable energy and other forms of reducing emissions. We understand the government likes to get up and talk about renewables, but you cannot build renewables with one hand and drill for gas on the other and hope the climate crisis will go away.
The SPEAKER: Order! The minister is being relevant to the question that has been asked.
Ms D’AMBROSIO: We are delivering real change. We are delivering the jobs. We are reducing emissions across the energy sector and across a range of other sectors. You cannot talk without actually having a plan and delivering. We have got the talk, we have got the ambition, we have got the legislation, we have got the plan—and we are delivering. The results speak for themselves, and that is the end of it.