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Opposing One Nation's Energy Motion

27 September 2023

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS (17:23): I rise to speak against this motion on behalf of the Greens. In so doing I want to debunk some of the, quite frankly, ridiculous claims that have been made by the One Nation political party in relation to energy policy over the years. Taking advice on energy policy from One Nation is like getting empathy lessons from Scott Morrison. They have no idea.

Let's actually listen to what they have had to say, let's take a look at some of the things that the One Nation Party has had to say on energy policy. I read through some news reports with great interest heading into this debate; I thought, 'What has the One Nation Party had to say?' Some of the things they have come up with are really worth putting on the Hansard, because I think they should inform consideration of this motion.

Let's look first at Senator Malcolm Roberts. In his first speech to parliament, Mr Roberts made some claims about climate change. He said 'there is no data proving human use of hydro-carbon fuels affects climate'. Well, we know that is false. He also went on to say:

[the] 1930s and 40s were warmer than the current decades…The original records are…first of all, that the data has been corrupted…

'By whom?' he was asked. 'By NASA,' he replied. NASA, of course, have corrupted the data. Of course; why did we not think of that? He says these models are 'hopelessly wrong'.

What did NASA I have to say about that? Well, a senior NASA official took the extraordinary step of personally rejecting the claims of One Nation where he claimed the agency had falsified data to exaggerate warming in the Arctic. Gavin Schmidt, Director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said Senator Roberts was mistaken in his assertion that the US agency had removed Arctic data to mask warming in the 1940s. A news report quoted him:

'You…hold a number of misconceptions which I am happy to clarify at this time,' Dr Schmidt told Senator Roberts in letters and emails obtained by Fairfax Media. 'The claim that [NASA] has "removed the 1940s warmth" in the Arctic is not correct.'

Dr Schmidt refers to data available on their website. Interesting. These are the people we are meant to take lessons on energy policy from. Senator Roberts went on to refer to climate change as being 'a conspiracy of the United Nations.' Wow.

He made some other really unusual claims here too. This is really worth noting. He wrote a letter to the then Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, in relation to the carbon tax. This is a good one, and I think it's worth putting on the public record. The letter he sent in 2011 was addressed to—and I quote from his letter—'The Woman, Julia-Eileen:Gillard' and contained a 28-point affidavit that sought to establish Mr Roberts' exemption from the need to follow the rules of the Australian government. He referred to himself as 'Malcolm-Ieuan: Roberts., the living soul' and identified himself as the 'beneficiary, administrator' for a corporate entity called Malcolm Ieuan Roberts. He went on to say:

…Malcolm-Ieuan: Roberts., the living soul has not…been presented with any…facts or evidence that I, Malcolm-Ieuan: Roberts., the living soul am not a beneficiary of the public trust, or evidence that the Australian Government is not a trustee in the public trust and believe that none exist.

This is interesting stuff.

It is worth clarifying for the One Nation party that Elvis has actually left the building, COVID was not a made-up conspiracy, climate change does exist and the world is not flat. There are a range of other strange and nutty views the One Nation party has, and I will not bother to put all of them on the public record. We know they peddle lies and misinformation not only in relation to energy policy but in relation to vulnerable people, queer people, people of colour and a range of other groups. That is the One Nation party's MO in our parliament.

On this particular issue, I think it is worth noting that the One Nation party really have picked the wrong target here. They say that the Malinauskas Labor government continues to mismanage energy policy and imply that renewable energy is the cause of high energy prices. That is not true, and the evidence paints a very different story.

If you want to know why energy prices have gone up in this state, take a look at this side of the chamber. They have gone up because the Liberals privatised and sold off ETSA back in the 1990s. That is what has driven up energy prices. Why is not the Hon. Ms Game going after her mates in the Liberal Party for the position they have taken on privatisation and the terrible effect that that has had on energy prices in our state?

That is the cause of the problem we find ourselves in. That is the problem we face in our state but, for reasons unbeknownst to me, One Nation is running a protection racket for the Liberal Party on that issue. They are not to be believed on energy policy. They peddle lies and misinformation and this motion should be dismissed.

Debate adjourned on motion of Hon. I.K. Hunter.