Questions without notice – Renewable energy

Thursday, 21 October 2021

Mrs ELLIOT: My question is to the Minister for Resources and Water. Does the minister still believe wind, solar and battery technology don’t work and that investment in renewable energy delivers little more than a warm and fuzzy feeling?

Mr PITT: I thank the honourable member for that question and say to them: find me a solar panel that works in the dark! This is just a statement of fact. It absolutely is. It is that simple. I say to those opposite: are you seriously suggesting that, when there is no sun, solar works? This is just a fundamental fact.

On this side of the House, we will continue to deliver, from my portfolio, the things that actually make those products. I’m not sure where those opposite think they come from—they don’t fall out of the sky. They’re made from Australian resources. We will be out there looking to continue to drive forward in our sector, to provide more jobs and opportunities, and to expand into new and emerging roles, because the market demands it. I think the line of questioning is quite incredible. I say to the honourable member: please, step forward and ask a question about the resources sector. I’m happy to answer it. Ask me a question about water and I’m happy to answer it. But questions about these things, which very clearly are fundamental facts of physics—well, I’m happy to answer those, too. But I’ll come back to what they’re made out of. We deliver aluminium from this country. We deliver critical minerals and rare earths from this country. We deliver the things that make steel from this country. There is so much—

The SPEAKER: I just say to the minister: he’s made that point. This was a very specific question about whether he still had beliefs about statements he’d made. I have given some latitude. You’ve had that. You’re not required to spend the entire three minutes on aspects outside what you were asked.

Mr PITT: This is why this side of the House backs reliable, affordable, dispatchable energy. There are any number of energy systems across the country. They all have their place. If we look at what happens in remote communities, it is incredibly helpful for them to be able to build things which utilise solar panels and wind, along with the diesel they already had, in terms of generation. This is just a fact, in terms of electricity systems. I can’t get away from my back ground. I’m an electrician by trade and an electrical engineer by profession. I get ‘based on facts’ and ‘based on physics’.

I say to those opposite: we do things that work; we provide affordable, reliable, dispatchable opportunities, as the minister for emissions reduction says every single day. Once again, I say to those opposite: we work on things that work; we deliver things based on fact; and we will continue to deliver affordable, reliable, dispatchable energy right across the country.

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