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Morrison Govt refusing to release modelling behind emissions deal

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The Morrison government has spent nearly $13 million promoting its climate credentials while refusing to release modelling underpinning its emissions reduction strategy, citing cabinet secrecy.

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The $12.9 million spend includes more than $488,000 looking at public attitudes towards climate change and market testing on the coalition’s “positive energy campaign” launched in September.

Labor wants government officials to hand over findings of market research into the campaign.

“It’s subject to cabinet consideration so I need to check on that,” the head of the industry department’s climate change division, Helen Bennett, told a Senate estimates hearing on Monday.

The campaign, including TV and radio ads, was developed because “the public wanted to hear more about what the government is doing to reduce emissions”.

Meanwhile, the government has refused to release modelling underpinning its emissions reduction strategy on the grounds of cabinet confidentiality.

Energy Minister Angus Taylor made a public interest immunity claim on the modelling because it informed or was the subject of cabinet deliberations.

Appearing on the minister’s behalf, senator Zed Seselja told the hearing the plan was based on existing policies and would be detailed ahead of the COP26 global climate summit beginning on Sunday.

Federal cabinet has signed off on “safeguard” reviews of the economic impact of the government’s 2050 net-zero emissions target on rural and regional communities ahead of the summit.

The reviews form part of a deal between the Liberals and the Nationals to secure the junior coalition partner’s support for the emissions reduction target.

The remainder of what the Nationals will get in terms of protection for regional jobs and industry is expected to be spelled out by Prime Minister Scott Morrison today.

-with AAP

 

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