Regional Australians have every right to feel completely let down by the Coalition Government today.
The economic opportunities for regional Australia from the growth of zero carbon industries are simply enormous.
The Government promised a detailed plan to capture that opportunity.
But today the Prime Minister gave us no such plan.
The Prime Minister seemingly announced nothing at all for the regions – zero new policies, zero new investments and zero new opportunities for regional Australia.
They have had eight years in power to figure this out.
Australia is lagging at the back of the pack when it comes to climate action, and now we are not even at the starting line when it comes to investing in the renewable economy of the future.
Farmers in Germany own ten per cent of all renewable energy generation
The first loads of green steel have already rolled off production lines in factories in Sweden.
Tesla’s Gigafactory in the USA is already churning out lithium-ion batteries and employing 10,000 people in the process.
This could be happening here too. These could be regional Australian industries. Regional Australian jobs. But these opportunities are sailing right by us because the Government seems incapable of offering up a detailed economic plan for the regions.
There is no plan to make sure regional Australians see the benefits of the renewable energy boom.
There is no plan to help the timber mills in my electorate transition off gas to renewables.
There is no plan to guarantee the energy security of bushfire-prone towns with community batteries.
The National Party has struck a secret deal with the Liberals over this issue, and yet they have apparently nothing to say for the regional communities they claim to represent. Apparently, there will be a Productivity Commission review of the impact on Regional Australia in five years. I welcome that but a review with no plan is not a blueprint for regional prosperity.
I expected so much more from the Government today, and like many people across regional Australia I have been left underwhelmed and disappointed.
As the member for Indi, I will keep fighting for regional Australia to benefit from action on climate change, even if the Government will not.