“There is now a significant groundswell of support in the community for the Prime Minister to dump net zero ahead of the election to save regional jobs and bolster national defence,” said Daniel Wild, Director of Research at the Institute of Public Affairs.
It was reported in The Australian yesterday that the Nationals’ candidate for the Queensland electorate of Flynn, Colin Boyce, said the Morrison government’s net zero emissions commitment was “flexible” and “not binding”.
Mr Boyce also referenced the national defence consequences of net zero, stating: “we’ve seen the world change significantly in the last three months in terms of the use of fossil fuels…”
“It’s clear that the Coalition’s local candidates, like Mr Boyce, are building the momentum to dump what he described as a “non-binding, flexible” net zero by 2050 emissions target that will devastate his local community of Flynn,” Mr Wild said.
“Recent IPA research identified that the electorate of Flynn will be the hardest hit electorate by net zero in the nation – up to 25% of jobs (around 16,000) would be put at risk by net zero.”
“Mainstream Australians are waking up to the cost of net zero. And the more they learn about how net zero will damage the economy and Australia’s national defence, the less they support it.”
The comments by Mr Boyce comes on the heels of the release of IPA’s landmark report on the cost to Australia of net zero, The Economic and Employment Consequences of Net Zero Emissions by 2050. That report identified:
- At a minimum, all coal, gas and oil projects in the construction pipeline must be cancelled to achieve net zero by 2050.
- $274 billion cost to the Australian economy in forgone direct and indirect economic output, which is the equivalent to 13.5% of Australia’s annual GDP.
- Over 478,000 new jobs cancelled.
- North Queensland to be hit hardest, with 125,000 jobs cancelled, which is the equivalent to 25 years’ worth of job creation.
Further IPA research also identified the significant division in the Coalition resulting from net zero. A typical worker in an electorate represented by the Nationals is over three times more likely to lose their job as a result of net zero than a typical worker in an electorate represented by the Liberals.