News

Zali Steggall MP calls for amendments to the Net Zero Economy Authority Bill

29 May 2024

Well, it's only a few days since the world's leading IPCC scientists said that we are now expecting the world's temperature to rise to at least 2.5 degrees, and announced their despair at the lack of progress being made by world leaders. On the same day of those dire predictions, of an over-2.5-degree world was being reported, the irony was that the government announced its gas strategy to accelerate new fossil fuel projects in this country, and lock in gas and fossil fuels to well beyond 2050. The International Energy Agency, scientists, constituents of mine in Warringah, and many around Australia, and quite frankly anyone with common sense knows that if the aim is to reach net zero and limit warming to 1.5 degrees, we must not have any new coal or gas projects.

So it's in that context that I consider today this bill for the Net Zero Economy Agency. It's a big title, and it's an ambitious task for an agency, but I have to point out that there is a catch and I would ask that no-one be, I guess, misguided in just the breadth of what is intended to be caught by this legislation. I'm hearing many talk in this place of it being revolutionary, of no-one being left behind. But the reality is that many people are being left behind, this is a very cherry-picked approach of who will be assisted in this transition. So the bill aims to coordinate Australia's orderly transition to net zero and introduce a long-overdue support framework to transition coal and gas-fired power station workers. I repeat it will only assist to transition coal and gas-fired power station workers. No other workers from other industries. Only those relating to coal and gas-fired power stations - very niche - as Australia transitions away from fossil fuel generated energy. It is limited as to which workers it is in fact, designed to assist.

One of the bill's objectives, to support workers in emissions-intensive industries to access new employment, is not supported by the bill's operational provisions. The authority will establish the energy industry jobs plan, which will support employees impacted by the closure of some coal-fired and gas-fired power station, through pooled redeployment plans. But this support is narrow. It not only excludes many trade exposed industries, but permanently locks them out in the way it has been drafted. The frustration is we have been engaging with the minister and the government in trying to have amendments that would -- properly reflect the intention and many of the speeches in this place from government, but they are refusing to amend the legislation to actually give it this genuine purpose. At the moment, the only focus is on coal and gas power station workers, and their directly associated coal mines and it ignores every other coal mine, LNG plant and other trade exposed industries.

You have to wonder why? Is it because the government on one hand wants to beat its chest that it's moving on its transition to a net zero economy? But on the other, doesn't actually want to admit to specific communities that are reliant on fossil fuel industries, that their industries and jobs are going to go, and so rather than having an honest conversation with all communities, we have this cherry picked approach of transition. I think it is unacceptable to create grand objectives to transition Australia's economy to a net zero economy, something that we take time, with evolving needs, particularly when it comes to just transition, I strongly support the intent, but then fail to provide the authority with the teeth and scope to actually achieve that objective.

The government's position is to focus on industries that have defined closure timelines, as is the case for coal-fired power stations. The government is completely ignoring the fact that other industries are also facing closure as we transition to net zero economy. It's this political doublespeak of not wanting to acknowledge to some communities, they are going to need to transition. It is this idea that we are going to have gas exports forever, that there will be firmer coal exports forever. There won't be. They have to go and it is a duty of government to ensure those communities, those workers are not left behind as well, and they are assisted in their transition.

The broader issue which is I think really disappointing from the government in relation to this bill is the government's failure to acknowledge and properly manage Australia's inevitable decline in coal and gas and other emission exposed industries of export. And that decline is inevitable. Look no further than Australia's largest mining companies. BHP has divested from its coal assets and even Glencore. Australia's largest coal miner is committed to a responsible phase-down of our thermal coal production, I quote, and has already closed mines in Australia. So this bill must align its transition rhetoric with adequate provision to include all coal mining communities. It is selling them a lie to tell them that their jobs will be there forever in an export sense. We have to have an expansion of the mechanism in this bill to ensure that all workers are genuinely assisted.

At the moment, there is no mechanism to expand trade exposed employers within this bill. I want to be very clear for all members of government, there is no mechanism within the bill as currently drafted to expand that scope. So, that means that not only the authority, but even the minister cannot expand support as intended by this bill for other industries or other workers, that we know are impacted by the transition to net zero and will need support. So, it just doesn't make sense why there is a refusal by the government to amend this and to acknowledge this failing of the legislation as it currently stands. So I guess it is a political thing, I don't know if it is because they don't want to acknowledge that transitions are going to happen for those communities, but it just makes it very disappointing when it comes to the scope of this legislation. I know the government does not want to acknowledge to certain communities that ultimately the export of coal will go, that those jobs will be lost, and I know politically it's difficult, but an honest conversation is needed. Not only for the just transition for individuals and communities, but for the sensible, economic transition of our economy, the many renewable job opportunities that we need filled.

So just to give you some numbers, the number of jobs covered by the energy industry jobs plan under this bill,  compared to those that aren't, but should be, and could be with the amendments that I and many others are proposing. Approximately 10,000 jobs are covered, but 112,000 jobs from export coal mines, oil and gas are not, an additional 90,000 geographically dispersed industries such as mechanics, gasfitters are also excluded from assistance under this legislation. So just so we are very clear, less than 10 per cent of the jobs that should be covered are in fact covered by the scope of this legislation, and there is no mechanism to increase that number. 

Now, of course, we must transition to net zero, transition is not about closures and job losses, but about vast opportunities as we transform our economy. In Warringah, people are ready for Australia to ride that clean energy wave with policies, and I support the government on its future made in Australia policy and commitment. Warringah businesses are embracing the transition to renewables and enjoying the financial benefits. And we need a workforce to meet the demand and opportunity that these policies will bring. The Business Council of Australia predicts that there will be some 395,000 clean export jobs created in Australia, and this authority can work with communities and workers to help them seize those opportunities.

We know it works, when regions, communities and workers are consulted to co-design solutions, they are successful. We have success stories already. The La Trobe Valley authority and the economic growth zone created 2500 new jobs and contributed to the generation of more than $99 million of private investment. In Germany's rural region, the transition from a coal centred economy was successfully managed through significant investments in infrastructure, education and economic diversification, which created new opportunities in manufacturing, technology and services. The Canadian government is also actively phasing out coal-fired power supporting affected workers and communities. They are focusing on community engagement and economic diversification. It is not just coal mining or fossil fuel power stations that should be included in this scope. The scope should be extended to include workers around the country, including car mechanics who industries will transition. The opportunity is huge for the net zero economy authority to link its strategic goals with a just transition of workers impacted by any industry facing closure or transition. It will be key to co-ordinate between the public, the private sector and communities, first-nations people to ensure that the transition is effective, efficient and maximises co- benefits for the regions that are impacted. Not as we are seeing here, a cherry pick of one small 10 per cent of industry that really deserves the assistance.

It is prudent for the net zero economy authority to engage widely and determine best policy levers that will unlock private capital to bring trillions of investment into the Australian economy. It can enable the value adding to Australia's vast critical minerals industry, production of green irons, steel, manufacturing of solar, specialised batteries, ensure that we are internationally competitive and it will improve a range of measures. I know that within its limited scope it will be effective for production tax credits, to contracts for difference, local content requirements and government procurement. That must be balanced to provide the necessary market support to be effective. The US has seen a huge surge of investment because of the very attractive legislative environment leading to trillions of dollars of private investment. We know China has built its renewables manufacturing sector on government subsidies, giving EV maker BYD a loan, a US $4 billion start-up subsidy. The EU has dedicated 578 billion euros of its 2021 to 2027 budget to climate -related spending facilitating a clean transition and Japan, Korea, Canada have also all made substantial commitments to their transition. If we get it right, $100 billion investment over 10 years could deliver $300 billion in renewable exports and keep Australia competitive, playing to our strengths.

Warringah, the Northern Beaches, we are becoming a hub for businesses, in a renewable space that will benefit from a future made in Australia strategy. There is vision and there is appetite for a clean and profitable future. The bill provides a good framework to support those existing businesses and future start-ups. So whilst the Net Zero Economy Authority will play an important role in Australia's history, as detailed in legislation I have brought to this place in the past like the Climate Change Bill, we must support a smooth and sensible transition to a carbon-neutral economy. With amendments, I am confident that an independent Net Zero Economy Authority will enable us to make the most of our natural advantages while creating opportunities and well-paid smart jobs.

However, it is ironic that, as I said at the beginning, that the first bill before the parliament following the government announcing its Future Gas Strategy is this one. Of the many functions of a proposed net zero authority is to promote coordination and consistency in the design and implementation of Australian government policies, programs and plans. There is an irony in that. It is not an easy task. Transforming on one hand our economy away from polluting coal and gas, creating a renewable future made in Australia economy and it is hard to reconcile, then, with the government's support of new fossil fuel projects and ongoing approvals by the environment minister to: coal and gas projects well beyond 2050. Ensuring we maximise the opportunities of net zero requires coordination and consistency in the government's policies.

We can't have it both ways. It requires engagement across the economy with the private and public sector, communities, first-nations groups and unions. The Net Zero Economy Authority will ensure that Australia's transition is orderly for some workers. But if we are going to meet our emissions reduction targets and actually what we need to keep our communities safe and healthy, then we have to go beyond this little, narrow bit. The current bill I would say, finally, is heavy on aspiration and broad objects, but it is light on detail and specifics and desperately needs amending to genuinely fulfil the purpose it is intended to. 

Well, it's only a few days since the world's leading IPCC scientists said that we are now expecting the world's temperature to rise to at least 2.5 degrees, and announced their despair at the lack of progress being made by world leaders. On the same day of those dire predictions, of an over-2.5-degree world was being reported, the irony was that the government announced its gas strategy to accelerate new fossil fuel projects in this country, and lock in gas and fossil fuels to well beyond 2050. The International Energy Agency, scientists, constituents of mine in Warringah, and many around Australia, and quite frankly anyone with common sense knows that if the aim is to reach net zero and limit warming to 1.5 degrees, we must not have any new coal or gas projects.

So it's in that context that I consider today this bill for the Net Zero Economy Agency. It's a big title, and it's an ambitious task for an agency, but I have to point out that there is a catch and I would ask that no-one be, I guess, misguided in just the breadth of what is intended to be caught by this legislation. I'm hearing many talk in this place of it being revolutionary, of no-one being left behind. But the reality is that many people are being left behind, this is a very cherry-picked approach of who will be assisted in this transition. So the bill aims to coordinate Australia's orderly transition to net zero and introduce a long-overdue support framework to transition coal and gas-fired power station workers. I repeat it will only assist to transition coal and gas-fired power station workers. No other workers from other industries. Only those relating to coal and gas-fired power stations - very niche - as Australia transitions away from fossil fuel generated energy. It is limited as to which workers it is in fact, designed to assist.

One of the bill's objectives, to support workers in emissions-intensive industries to access new employment, is not supported by the bill's operational provisions. The authority will establish the energy industry jobs plan, which will support employees impacted by the closure of some coal-fired and gas-fired power station, through pooled redeployment plans. But this support is narrow. It not only excludes many trade exposed industries, but permanently locks them out in the way it has been drafted. The frustration is we have been engaging with the minister and the government in trying to have amendments that would -- properly reflect the intention and many of the speeches in this place from government, but they are refusing to amend the legislation to actually give it this genuine purpose. At the moment, the only focus is on coal and gas power station workers, and their directly associated coal mines and it ignores every other coal mine, LNG plant and other trade exposed industries.

You have to wonder why? Is it because the government on one hand wants to beat its chest that it's moving on its transition to a net zero economy? But on the other, doesn't actually want to admit to specific communities that are reliant on fossil fuel industries, that their industries and jobs are going to go, and so rather than having an honest conversation with all communities, we have this cherry picked approach of transition. I think it is unacceptable to create grand objectives to transition Australia's economy to a net zero economy, something that we take time, with evolving needs, particularly when it comes to just transition, I strongly support the intent, but then fail to provide the authority with the teeth and scope to actually achieve that objective.

The government's position is to focus on industries that have defined closure timelines, as is the case for coal-fired power stations. The government is completely ignoring the fact that other industries are also facing closure as we transition to net zero economy. It's this political doublespeak of not wanting to acknowledge to some communities, they are going to need to transition. It is this idea that we are going to have gas exports forever, that there will be firmer coal exports forever. There won't be. They have to go and it is a duty of government to ensure those communities, those workers are not left behind as well, and they are assisted in their transition.

The broader issue which is I think really disappointing from the government in relation to this bill is the government's failure to acknowledge and properly manage Australia's inevitable decline in coal and gas and other emission exposed industries of export. And that decline is inevitable. Look no further than Australia's largest mining companies. BHP has divested from its coal assets and even Glencore. Australia's largest coal miner is committed to a responsible phase-down of our thermal coal production, I quote, and has already closed mines in Australia. So this bill must align its transition rhetoric with adequate provision to include all coal mining communities. It is selling them a lie to tell them that their jobs will be there forever in an export sense. We have to have an expansion of the mechanism in this bill to ensure that all workers are genuinely assisted.

At the moment, there is no mechanism to expand trade exposed employers within this bill. I want to be very clear for all members of government, there is no mechanism within the bill as currently drafted to expand that scope. So, that means that not only the authority, but even the minister cannot expand support as intended by this bill for other industries or other workers, that we know are impacted by the transition to net zero and will need support. So, it just doesn't make sense why there is a refusal by the government to amend this and to acknowledge this failing of the legislation as it currently stands. So I guess it is a political thing, I don't know if it is because they don't want to acknowledge that transitions are going to happen for those communities, but it just makes it very disappointing when it comes to the scope of this legislation. I know the government does not want to acknowledge to certain communities that ultimately the export of coal will go, that those jobs will be lost, and I know politically it's difficult, but an honest conversation is needed. Not only for the just transition for individuals and communities, but for the sensible, economic transition of our economy, the many renewable job opportunities that we need filled.

So just to give you some numbers, the number of jobs covered by the energy industry jobs plan under this bill,  compared to those that aren't, but should be, and could be with the amendments that I and many others are proposing. Approximately 10,000 jobs are covered, but 112,000 jobs from export coal mines, oil and gas are not, an additional 90,000 geographically dispersed industries such as mechanics, gasfitters are also excluded from assistance under this legislation. So just so we are very clear, less than 10 per cent of the jobs that should be covered are in fact covered by the scope of this legislation, and there is no mechanism to increase that number. 

Now, of course, we must transition to net zero, transition is not about closures and job losses, but about vast opportunities as we transform our economy. In Warringah, people are ready for Australia to ride that clean energy wave with policies, and I support the government on its future made in Australia policy and commitment. Warringah businesses are embracing the transition to renewables and enjoying the financial benefits. And we need a workforce to meet the demand and opportunity that these policies will bring. The Business Council of Australia predicts that there will be some 395,000 clean export jobs created in Australia, and this authority can work with communities and workers to help them seize those opportunities.

We know it works, when regions, communities and workers are consulted to co-design solutions, they are successful. We have success stories already. The La Trobe Valley authority and the economic growth zone created 2500 new jobs and contributed to the generation of more than $99 million of private investment. In Germany's rural region, the transition from a coal centred economy was successfully managed through significant investments in infrastructure, education and economic diversification, which created new opportunities in manufacturing, technology and services. The Canadian government is also actively phasing out coal-fired power supporting affected workers and communities. They are focusing on community engagement and economic diversification. It is not just coal mining or fossil fuel power stations that should be included in this scope. The scope should be extended to include workers around the country, including car mechanics who industries will transition. The opportunity is huge for the net zero economy authority to link its strategic goals with a just transition of workers impacted by any industry facing closure or transition. It will be key to co-ordinate between the public, the private sector and communities, first-nations people to ensure that the transition is effective, efficient and maximises co- benefits for the regions that are impacted. Not as we are seeing here, a cherry pick of one small 10 per cent of industry that really deserves the assistance.

It is prudent for the net zero economy authority to engage widely and determine best policy levers that will unlock private capital to bring trillions of investment into the Australian economy. It can enable the value adding to Australia's vast critical minerals industry, production of green irons, steel, manufacturing of solar, specialised batteries, ensure that we are internationally competitive and it will improve a range of measures. I know that within its limited scope it will be effective for production tax credits, to contracts for difference, local content requirements and government procurement. That must be balanced to provide the necessary market support to be effective. The US has seen a huge surge of investment because of the very attractive legislative environment leading to trillions of dollars of private investment. We know China has built its renewables manufacturing sector on government subsidies, giving EV maker BYD a loan, a US $4 billion start-up subsidy. The EU has dedicated 578 billion euros of its 2021 to 2027 budget to climate -related spending facilitating a clean transition and Japan, Korea, Canada have also all made substantial commitments to their transition. If we get it right, $100 billion investment over 10 years could deliver $300 billion in renewable exports and keep Australia competitive, playing to our strengths.

Warringah, the Northern Beaches, we are becoming a hub for businesses, in a renewable space that will benefit from a future made in Australia strategy. There is vision and there is appetite for a clean and profitable future. The bill provides a good framework to support those existing businesses and future start-ups. So whilst the Net Zero Economy Authority will play an important role in Australia's history, as detailed in legislation I have brought to this place in the past like the Climate Change Bill, we must support a smooth and sensible transition to a carbon-neutral economy. With amendments, I am confident that an independent Net Zero Economy Authority will enable us to make the most of our natural advantages while creating opportunities and well-paid smart jobs.

However, it is ironic that, as I said at the beginning, that the first bill before the parliament following the government announcing its Future Gas Strategy is this one. Of the many functions of a proposed net zero authority is to promote coordination and consistency in the design and implementation of Australian government policies, programs and plans. There is an irony in that. It is not an easy task. Transforming on one hand our economy away from polluting coal and gas, creating a renewable future made in Australia economy and it is hard to reconcile, then, with the government's support of new fossil fuel projects and ongoing approvals by the environment minister to: coal and gas projects well beyond 2050. Ensuring we maximise the opportunities of net zero requires coordination and consistency in the government's policies.

We can't have it both ways. It requires engagement across the economy with the private and public sector, communities, first-nations groups and unions. The Net Zero Economy Authority will ensure that Australia's transition is orderly for some workers. But if we are going to meet our emissions reduction targets and actually what we need to keep our communities safe and healthy, then we have to go beyond this little, narrow bit. The current bill I would say, finally, is heavy on aspiration and broad objects, but it is light on detail and specifics and desperately needs amending to genuinely fulfil the purpose it is intended to. 

Well, it's only a few days since the world's leading IPCC scientists said that we are now expecting the world's temperature to rise to at least 2.5 degrees, and announced their despair at the lack of progress being made by world leaders. On the same day of those dire predictions, of an over-2.5-degree world was being reported, the irony was that the government announced its gas strategy to accelerate new fossil fuel projects in this country, and lock in gas and fossil fuels to well beyond 2050. The International Energy Agency, scientists, constituents of mine in Warringah, and many around Australia, and quite frankly anyone with common sense knows that if the aim is to reach net zero and limit warming to 1.5 degrees, we must not have any new coal or gas projects.

So it's in that context that I consider today this bill for the Net Zero Economy Agency. It's a big title, and it's an ambitious task for an agency, but I have to point out that there is a catch and I would ask that no-one be, I guess, misguided in just the breadth of what is intended to be caught by this legislation. I'm hearing many talk in this place of it being revolutionary, of no-one being left behind. But the reality is that many people are being left behind, this is a very cherry-picked approach of who will be assisted in this transition. So the bill aims to coordinate Australia's orderly transition to net zero and introduce a long-overdue support framework to transition coal and gas-fired power station workers. I repeat it will only assist to transition coal and gas-fired power station workers. No other workers from other industries. Only those relating to coal and gas-fired power stations - very niche - as Australia transitions away from fossil fuel generated energy. It is limited as to which workers it is in fact, designed to assist.

One of the bill's objectives, to support workers in emissions-intensive industries to access new employment, is not supported by the bill's operational provisions. The authority will establish the energy industry jobs plan, which will support employees impacted by the closure of some coal-fired and gas-fired power station, through pooled redeployment plans. But this support is narrow. It not only excludes many trade exposed industries, but permanently locks them out in the way it has been drafted. The frustration is we have been engaging with the minister and the government in trying to have amendments that would -- properly reflect the intention and many of the speeches in this place from government, but they are refusing to amend the legislation to actually give it this genuine purpose. At the moment, the only focus is on coal and gas power station workers, and their directly associated coal mines and it ignores every other coal mine, LNG plant and other trade exposed industries.

You have to wonder why? Is it because the government on one hand wants to beat its chest that it's moving on its transition to a net zero economy? But on the other, doesn't actually want to admit to specific communities that are reliant on fossil fuel industries, that their industries and jobs are going to go, and so rather than having an honest conversation with all communities, we have this cherry picked approach of transition. I think it is unacceptable to create grand objectives to transition Australia's economy to a net zero economy, something that we take time, with evolving needs, particularly when it comes to just transition, I strongly support the intent, but then fail to provide the authority with the teeth and scope to actually achieve that objective.

The government's position is to focus on industries that have defined closure timelines, as is the case for coal-fired power stations. The government is completely ignoring the fact that other industries are also facing closure as we transition to net zero economy. It's this political doublespeak of not wanting to acknowledge to some communities, they are going to need to transition. It is this idea that we are going to have gas exports forever, that there will be firmer coal exports forever. There won't be. They have to go and it is a duty of government to ensure those communities, those workers are not left behind as well, and they are assisted in their transition.

The broader issue which is I think really disappointing from the government in relation to this bill is the government's failure to acknowledge and properly manage Australia's inevitable decline in coal and gas and other emission exposed industries of export. And that decline is inevitable. Look no further than Australia's largest mining companies. BHP has divested from its coal assets and even Glencore. Australia's largest coal miner is committed to a responsible phase-down of our thermal coal production, I quote, and has already closed mines in Australia. So this bill must align its transition rhetoric with adequate provision to include all coal mining communities. It is selling them a lie to tell them that their jobs will be there forever in an export sense. We have to have an expansion of the mechanism in this bill to ensure that all workers are genuinely assisted.

At the moment, there is no mechanism to expand trade exposed employers within this bill. I want to be very clear for all members of government, there is no mechanism within the bill as currently drafted to expand that scope. So, that means that not only the authority, but even the minister cannot expand support as intended by this bill for other industries or other workers, that we know are impacted by the transition to net zero and will need support. So, it just doesn't make sense why there is a refusal by the government to amend this and to acknowledge this failing of the legislation as it currently stands. So I guess it is a political thing, I don't know if it is because they don't want to acknowledge that transitions are going to happen for those communities, but it just makes it very disappointing when it comes to the scope of this legislation. I know the government does not want to acknowledge to certain communities that ultimately the export of coal will go, that those jobs will be lost, and I know politically it's difficult, but an honest conversation is needed. Not only for the just transition for individuals and communities, but for the sensible, economic transition of our economy, the many renewable job opportunities that we need filled.

So just to give you some numbers, the number of jobs covered by the energy industry jobs plan under this bill,  compared to those that aren't, but should be, and could be with the amendments that I and many others are proposing. Approximately 10,000 jobs are covered, but 112,000 jobs from export coal mines, oil and gas are not, an additional 90,000 geographically dispersed industries such as mechanics, gasfitters are also excluded from assistance under this legislation. So just so we are very clear, less than 10 per cent of the jobs that should be covered are in fact covered by the scope of this legislation, and there is no mechanism to increase that number. 

Now, of course, we must transition to net zero, transition is not about closures and job losses, but about vast opportunities as we transform our economy. In Warringah, people are ready for Australia to ride that clean energy wave with policies, and I support the government on its future made in Australia policy and commitment. Warringah businesses are embracing the transition to renewables and enjoying the financial benefits. And we need a workforce to meet the demand and opportunity that these policies will bring. The Business Council of Australia predicts that there will be some 395,000 clean export jobs created in Australia, and this authority can work with communities and workers to help them seize those opportunities.

We know it works, when regions, communities and workers are consulted to co-design solutions, they are successful. We have success stories already. The La Trobe Valley authority and the economic growth zone created 2500 new jobs and contributed to the generation of more than $99 million of private investment. In Germany's rural region, the transition from a coal centred economy was successfully managed through significant investments in infrastructure, education and economic diversification, which created new opportunities in manufacturing, technology and services. The Canadian government is also actively phasing out coal-fired power supporting affected workers and communities. They are focusing on community engagement and economic diversification. It is not just coal mining or fossil fuel power stations that should be included in this scope. The scope should be extended to include workers around the country, including car mechanics who industries will transition. The opportunity is huge for the net zero economy authority to link its strategic goals with a just transition of workers impacted by any industry facing closure or transition. It will be key to co-ordinate between the public, the private sector and communities, first-nations people to ensure that the transition is effective, efficient and maximises co- benefits for the regions that are impacted. Not as we are seeing here, a cherry pick of one small 10 per cent of industry that really deserves the assistance.

It is prudent for the net zero economy authority to engage widely and determine best policy levers that will unlock private capital to bring trillions of investment into the Australian economy. It can enable the value adding to Australia's vast critical minerals industry, production of green irons, steel, manufacturing of solar, specialised batteries, ensure that we are internationally competitive and it will improve a range of measures. I know that within its limited scope it will be effective for production tax credits, to contracts for difference, local content requirements and government procurement. That must be balanced to provide the necessary market support to be effective. The US has seen a huge surge of investment because of the very attractive legislative environment leading to trillions of dollars of private investment. We know China has built its renewables manufacturing sector on government subsidies, giving EV maker BYD a loan, a US $4 billion start-up subsidy. The EU has dedicated 578 billion euros of its 2021 to 2027 budget to climate -related spending facilitating a clean transition and Japan, Korea, Canada have also all made substantial commitments to their transition. If we get it right, $100 billion investment over 10 years could deliver $300 billion in renewable exports and keep Australia competitive, playing to our strengths.

Warringah, the Northern Beaches, we are becoming a hub for businesses, in a renewable space that will benefit from a future made in Australia strategy. There is vision and there is appetite for a clean and profitable future. The bill provides a good framework to support those existing businesses and future start-ups. So whilst the Net Zero Economy Authority will play an important role in Australia's history, as detailed in legislation I have brought to this place in the past like the Climate Change Bill, we must support a smooth and sensible transition to a carbon-neutral economy. With amendments, I am confident that an independent Net Zero Economy Authority will enable us to make the most of our natural advantages while creating opportunities and well-paid smart jobs.

However, it is ironic that, as I said at the beginning, that the first bill before the parliament following the government announcing its Future Gas Strategy is this one. Of the many functions of a proposed net zero authority is to promote coordination and consistency in the design and implementation of Australian government policies, programs and plans. There is an irony in that. It is not an easy task. Transforming on one hand our economy away from polluting coal and gas, creating a renewable future made in Australia economy and it is hard to reconcile, then, with the government's support of new fossil fuel projects and ongoing approvals by the environment minister to: coal and gas projects well beyond 2050. Ensuring we maximise the opportunities of net zero requires coordination and consistency in the government's policies.

We can't have it both ways. It requires engagement across the economy with the private and public sector, communities, first-nations groups and unions. The Net Zero Economy Authority will ensure that Australia's transition is orderly for some workers. But if we are going to meet our emissions reduction targets and actually what we need to keep our communities safe and healthy, then we have to go beyond this little, narrow bit. The current bill I would say, finally, is heavy on aspiration and broad objects, but it is light on detail and specifics and desperately needs amending to genuinely fulfil the purpose it is intended to.