Transcripts

Interview with Peter Stefanovic on Sky News

Peter Stefanovic

Let's go back to Canberra now. And joining us live is the Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg. Senator, good morning. So we'll keep that conversation going following our chat with Tanya Plibersek a short time ago. So, as for the climate bill, have you seen it yet?


Senator Bragg

Yes, it was introduced into the Parliament yesterday, Pete, and the Senate has sent it off to an inquiry which will report in late August. And that is now an opportunity for us to do the economic analysis which is required.


Peter Stefanovic

Okay. Can you support it in its current form?


Senator Bragg

Well, the whole point of the inquiry is that we need to undertake detailed analysis. The key question for me is how does Australia get the capital we need to fund this transition? What are the policy settings we need? I think there are a range of options and we need to interrogate those as part of the review.


Peter Stefanovic

So you're not there yet?


Senator Bragg

We need to undertake the detailed analysis. We have a month to do that. And as I say, the key question for me is how do you get the capital in the door and also what other policy settings we need? And there are a range of options. If you look around the G 20, some countries have put in place targets and others haven't. So we need to do the work.


Peter Stefanovic

Yes, but as for the question in its current form, before you study it and go through it in the inquiry, you can't support it as it stands at the moment?


Senator Bragg

It's not my intention to, but I want to keep my options open because I think this has been a wretched issue for our country. We need to make sure that we can move this issue out of a culture war realm and that it be seen as an economic issue. We're in a race to attract this capital into our country. We want to become an exporter of clean energy, and we'll only be able to do that if we get the money in the door.


Peter Stefanovic

Okay, you say it is not your intention to support it, but is the threat still there to cross the floor?


Senator Bragg

Well, as I said, the whole time Pete, I'm open minded about this. This is a key issue. I think it's been a wretched issue over the past decade. There's been too much politics and not enough economics. And we can now use the opportunity of this bill to do the Senate inquiry and look at all the options. I mean, I think it's an opportunity to look at the various policy that we might need to achieve the outcome. What matters here is the outcome of getting to net zero, not the embroidery of one particular bill.


Peter Stefanovic

Yeah. So keeping an open mind, though, still means that you would cross the floor if you felt the need to?


Senator Bragg

Well, I haven't said that. I said I have an open mind about this bill. Because it's an important bill. It's not so much an important bill in its own right, but it does bring on a discussion and the opportunity for the analysis to be undertaken so we can see how would Australia fund the transition? How would Australia get to net zero whilst keeping the lights on? What are the roles for gas and nuclear, for example? We can now have that inquiry through the Senate, and I think that will aid our national debate.


Peter Stefanovic

I will ask you about nuclear in just a second, but one more here, because Hollie Hughes was on the program early this week and she warned against anyone excuse me, within the Liberal Party crossing the floor, that people should think about their party first. Are you worried about blowback on that front?


Senator Bragg

I mean, I will always do what I think is the right thing. This is an important economic issue and we need to make sure that we get the right settings here. That's the most important judgment.


Peter Stefanovic

But there are a lot of people who voted for the Liberal Party on your targets. Do you need to abide by their wishes?


Senator Bragg

Well, that was the policy we took to the last election. This is a new parliament and an opportunity to look at these issues again, and that's what we're going to do as part of this process. And the reality is that we have not been able to attract the investment or as much investment as we do need because this has been too political. So I think we need to be focusing on the economics more than the politics.


Peter Stefanovic

How would nuclear fit into the picture?


Senator Bragg

Well, I think it's something that the committee can look at. I know that many people think that it has good prospects here in Australia. I'm not convinced either way. I have a very open mind about that. And of course, one of the other key issues is we need to make sure that we get more gas out of the ground so that can be used to support industry because we want to be a country that can maintain heavy industry jobs.


Peter Stefanovic

Just the final one here on Super, Stephen Jones. He wants to pause the extension while reviewing performance tests. What's your thoughts on this? And is a review necessary?


Senator Bragg

The Labor Party is a government for vested interests. Stephen Jones is a gold medallist so far in running policy in favour of industry, not in favour of consumers. Mr Jones is trying to cover up and conceal political donations and payments from the super funds to the unions and his own political party. It's wrong. He should stop that.


Peter Stefanovic

What if there are unintended consequences, though? Shouldn't that be reviewed if there are those unintended consequences?


Senator Bragg

We haven't even seen one year of disclosures yet. I mean, the first year of operation for this particular disclosure is financial year 21-22. The disclosures haven't been made to members yet, so why on earth would you tear up a brand-new regime which hasn't even had an opportunity to present the information? The only reason you would do it is because you want to run your government in favour of vested interests. And I think that's wrong. And we will look at all tools at our disposal to stop this crazy agenda.


Peter Stefanovic

Okay, that's the Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg, coming to us live from Canberra.


[ENDS]

Media contact: 

Charlotte Mortlock 0401 392 624

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