The Coalition visited a factory belonging to one of the biggest emitters of fossil fuels just as it tried to blast the Labor Party’s climate policy.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison visited a mining robotics site operated by Woodside Petroleum on Tuesday the same day he opposed Labour’s climate and energy policy, saying consumers would be worse off with the proposed net zero modeling by the opposition.
Labor is set to hit back at the coalition resurfacing a war of words over potential changes to industrial relations.
Mr Morrison’s visit to the Woodside Karda Robotics facility in Perth was to showcase a commitment of $50 million in research and development over the next four years to further improve technology in the minerals sector.
“To have a strong economy, you have to have a strong resource sector,” he told reporters.
Woodside is one of the nation’s largest LNG and oil producers and, according to data from the Commonwealth’s National Commission on Greenhouse Emissions and Energy, is the nation’s ninth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases.
Last year, the ASX-listed company also reached a binding agreement to merge with BHP’s oil and gas business, which was seen as a ploy by BHP to reduce its exposure to fossil fuels.
In contrast, Anthony Albanese visited a battery manufacturing center on Tuesday as part of his energy and net zero commitment by 2050.
Greens leader Adam Bandt also called for a higher rate on the oil resource rent tax, which he said would significantly improve the fiscal situation.
The Greens-led Parliamentary Budget Office costs show that a 10% royalty on offshore gas in addition to erasing accumulated PRRT credits would increase the budget balance by $92.25 billion over the decade.
“In just one year, 27 major gas companies brought in $78 billion in revenue but paid no taxes,” Bandt said.
“No other company gets its raw materials for free, but Woodside, Chevron and Exxon get free gas through this tax royalty and then make obscene profits which they send overseas.”
Labor’s bid to pressure industrial relations comes after the Coalition refused to rule out the ‘best overall’ test could come back for a vote in the next parliament.
Labor industrial relations spokesman Tony Burke says the changes would cut workers’ pay by the thousands.
“If he’s successful, everything from shift pay to penalty rates is on the chopping block,” Burke said.
“By removing the ‘best overall’ test, Mr. Morrison’s laws will allow deals that reduce workers’ pay and conditions.”