Anthony Albanese outlines his ‘legacy’ regardless of election result
Albanese to give key speech in Perth today
MAY 17, 2022
Anthony Albanese says he will be remembered for “action on climate” regardless of the outcome of the federal election.
The Labor leader made the remark at a business leaders event hosted by The West Australian newspaper in Perth on Tuesday.
After addressing the forum, Mr Albanese was quizzed by the newspaper’s political editor Lanai Scarr, who asked him to describe his “legacy” in three sentences or less — “win or lose on Saturday”.
Mr Albanese responded with three words: “action on climate”.
Mr Albanese has promised many times to “end the climate wars” if he succeeds in his bid to become prime minister and Labor forms government after nine years in opposition.
The major parties have the same target of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, but Labor has a more ambitious short-term target of a 43 per cent cut on 2005 levels by 2030.
The Coalition has stuck resolutely with its target of a 26 per cent decrease by 2030.
The parties face the prospect of having to negotiate with any “teal” independents who are elected if there is a hung parliament.
If neither the Coalition or Labor wins the 76 seats they need to form government in their own right, the party who governs would need to negotiate with the crossbench to do so.
Several Liberal MPs are being challenged by a swag of high-profile independents who are backed by Climate 200 and have said they would fight in parliament for more ambitious emissions reduction targets of up to 60 per cent by 2030.
Asked on Tuesday if he would increase Labor’s climate targets if it were a condition of these “teal” independents, Mr Albanese said “no”.
In his speech to the business forum earlier, Mr Albanese said there was a “fundamental chasm” between the major parties’ climate change policies.
“Only Labor recognises that the challenge of climate change represents a game-changing opportunity for the Australian economy,” he said.
“We know that policies to deal with climate change represent an overdue economic reform.”
Mr Albanese said the bushfire and flood crises of recent years were a result of the Morrison government’s “refusing to act”.
“We listened to the science on the pandemic. We must listen to the science on climate change,” he said.
He described his party’s energy policy as a “comprehensive response to climate change with economic growth and jobs at its heart”.
Labor has promised its “Powering Australia” plan will create 604,000 jobs by 2030, generate $52bn of private sector investment and achieve the party’s short-term emissions targets.