McEwen – NCAT Climate Scorecard – scoring rationale

April 2022

Note: Scores are based on consideration of the detailed policies published by the candidates or their parties. Verbatim extracts from the relevant polices (and links to the original documents and webpages) can be found in the appendix.

1. Recognises the climate emergency

  • Good: Clear statement recognising the climate emergency and the need for emergency action; support for a climate emergency declaration
  • Fair: Recognition of the seriousness of the threat of climate change, but limited emphasis on the need for emergency/urgent action
  • Poor: No recognition of the climate emergency or the need for urgent action; active opposition to a climate emergency declaration
CandidatePolicy overviewScore
Greens Neil Barker  Clear recognition of the climate emergency and support for an emergency declaration in Federal Parliament, including introduction of a Climate Emergency Bill in 2020.Good
Liberal Democrats John HerronNo recognition of the climate emergency or need for any action (‘climate alarmist ideology’).Poor
ALP Rob MitchellStrong statement of principle on the emergency (in the ALP National Platform) and support for Greens motion in the House for an emergency declaration in December 2020.Good
Liberal Richard WelchNo acknowledgement of the emergency or the need for urgent action.Poor
UAP Paul McCraeNo explicit policy on climate change or acknowledgement of the climate emergency.Poor
AFP Christopher NeilNo acknowledgement of the emergency or the need for urgent action.Poor
PH One Nation Chris BradburyRejects the science of climate change. Poor

2. Ambitious 2030 emissions reduction target

  • Good: minimum 60% reduction on 2005 levels
  • Fair: 40% – 59% reduction on 2005 levels
  • Poor: Less than 40% reduction on 2005 levels
CandidatePolicy overviewScore
Greens Neil Barker  A 2030 target is not explicitly stated in the election platform documents, but policy principles include a net zero or net negative target of 2035, which implies an ambitious 2030 target; this is reflected in the COP26-related campaign in 2021 for a legislated emissions reduction target of 75% by 2030.Good
Liberal Democrats John HerronRejects the science of climate change. Poor
ALP Rob Mitchell43% emissions reduction compared to 2005 levels by 2030.Fair
Liberal Richard Welch26%-28% emissions reduction compared to 2005 levels by 2030; project actual reduction of 35%.Poor
UAP Paul McRaeNo reference to climate change and no emissions targets specified.Poor
AFP Christopher NeilNo acknowledgement of the emergency or the need for urgent action.Poor
PH One Nation Chris BradburyRejects the need for emissions reduction.  Poor

3. Rapid move to 100% renewable energy

Scoring is confined to policies related to the national electricity grid

  • Good: At least 95% renewable generation for national electricity grid by 2030 with clear policies to achieve the target
  • Fair: 80% – 94% renewable generation for national electricity grid by 2030 with clear policies to achieve the target
  • Poor: Less than 80% renewable generation by 2030
CandidatePolicy overviewScore
Greens Neil Barker  Ambitious policy, including: Rapid government-supported shift to 100% renewable energy Will strive to generate 700% of existing electricity demand with renewables, including export of renewable energy Ban construction of new coal, oil and gas infrastructure Public investment to phase out every coal fired power plant by 2030 Public investment in renewable generation, storage and transforming the power grid, including a $20 billion Grid Transformation Fund Financial support for households and small business to get off gas and move to electricity Financial support for households to install batteries to maximise use of renewables Creation of a publicly owned non-profit power retailer Regulatory intervention and a strong effective price on carbon Removal of fossil fuel subsidies Target date for 100% renewable electricity is not specified; however, the transition is to be ‘as soon as possible’ and a 2030 target is implied (‘government led clean energy revolution over the next decade’).Good
Liberal Democrats John HerronNo policies to drive the transition to renewables beyond reliance on the free market; no renewables (or emissions) target. Supports development of nuclear power in part to reduce emissions, but with no reference to its economic feasibility (or other significant issues).Poor
ALP Rob MitchellRelatively modest projected renewables capacity of 82% by 2030 (compared with 68% for business-as-usual). Clearly articulated but limited policies to achieve this transition, including: Investment in electricity grid so it can handle more renewables ($20 billion) Co-invest in solar banks for renters and low-income households ($100 million) Invest in community batteries ($200 million) Reduce public service emissions Support for the ‘critical role’ of gas in achieving net zero emissions is at odds with a rapid transition to renewables.Good
Liberal Richard WelchNo 2030 renewables target. Very unambitious projection of 85% renewable electricity generation by 2050, with some coal and ‘a significant proportion’ of gas generation. Limited policies to drive the transition, with the primary focus on supporting technology development and cost reduction; the Technology Investment Roadmap is ‘expected to guide’ $20 billion of government investment in low emissions technologies to 2030, including ‘ultra low-cost solar’ and batteries. Technology deployment is to be led by the private sector. Government investments to support renewables deployment include Snowy 2.0 ($1.38 billion) and electricity grid development. Investment in new dispatchable generation, including underwriting a new 660 MW open cycle gas turbine in NSW; this is clearly at odds with the transition to renewables. Current priority is delivering a post-2025 energy market design, with reforms to ‘meet long-term consumer interests’.Poor
UAP Paul McRaeNo reference to the transition to renewables.Poor
AFP Christopher NeilNo reference to the transition to renewables.Poor
PH One Nation Chris BradburySupports additional (‘low emissions’) coal fired power stations and removal of subsidies for renewables.  Poor

4. Substantial incentives for electric vehicles

  • Good: Strong consumer incentives (including reduced government charges to lower EV purchase prices), strengthened vehicle emissions standards, policies to promote charging infrastructure development and a target of 2035 or better for all new vehicles to be zero emissions
  • Fair: Consumer incentives and policies to promote charging infrastructure development
  • Poor: Limited policies to support/promote EV uptake
CandidatePolicy overviewScore
Greens Neil Barker  Strong set of policies including: No petrol or diesel car sales from 2030 Reduce cost of electric vehicles Build charging stations Tough vehicle emissions standards to drive down emissions. Use government fleet procurement to reduce emissions The primary policy documents contain only high-level statements about these policies. However, the national 2021 ‘EV Revolution’ campaign (related to the Victorian State government’s EV tax) includes additional detail: Reduce cost of an EV by 20% by removing import tariffs, GST and stamp and registration duty and waiving registration fees for the first 3 years Invest $150 million in charging infrastructureGood
Liberal Democrats John HerronNo reference to electric vehicles or transport emissions.Poor
ALP Rob MitchellNo target for EV new car sales, no new emissions standards and relatively modest consumer incentives ($250 million over 3 years): Remove import tariffs (reduce cost of $50,000 EV by $2,000)Exempt EVs from fringe benefit tax, saving employers up to $9,000 on a $50,000 model. Support for more charging infrastructure by working with the states on federally funded projects, reviewing the construction code and through City Deals.Fair
Liberal Richard WelchPrimary focus on charging infrastructure, with no policy to reduce EV purchase prices, no strengthened vehicle emissions standards and no target for EV new car sales; estimate only 30% of new light vehicle sales will be EV or hybrid by 2030. Policies include: An expanded $250 million Future Fuels Fund to leverage private investment in public charging infrastructure, heavy and light commercial vehicle fleets and household smart charging A new Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) method to encourage private investment in charging infrastructure Market reforms to ensure EV-readiness of the grid Ensuring easy to understand information is available for consumers.Poor
UAP Paul McRaeNo reference to EVs or transport emissions.Poor
AFP Christopher NeilNo reference to EVs or transport emissions.Poor
PH One Nation Chris BradburyOpposes regulation of vehicle emissions; no reference to EVs.  Poor

5. No new fossil fuel mining (thermal coal, gas or oil)

  • Good: Clear statement that no new fossil fuel mines will be allowed (with the possible exception of metallurgical coal); preferably a plan for phase out of fossil fuel exports
  • Fair: Clear statement that no new coal mines will be allowed (with the possible exception of metallurgical coal); preferably no new fracking and a phase out plan for fossil fuel exports
  • Poor: Not opposed to new fossil fuel mines (may include government support for opening new gas fields)
CandidatePolicy overviewScore
Greens Neil Barker  Clear statement of opposition to new coal, gas and oil development and planned phase out of coal exports by 2030 and other fossil fuels by 2040 (excluding metallurgical coal).Good
Liberal Democrats John HerronNo reference to fossil fuel mining in policy documents.  Poor
ALP Kate ThwaitesSupport for fossil fuel mining in general and no statement opposing new mines. States that gas has an important role to play in achieving net zero and explicitly supports new gas projects.Poor
Liberal Richard WelchStrong support for fossil fuel mining and policy for a ‘gas-fired recovery’; significant public funding for new gas field development (via the National Gas Infrastructure Plan), including more than $220 million for the Beetaloo Strategic Basin Plan.Poor
UAP Paul McRaeNo policy to phase out fossil fuel mining.Poor
AFP Christopher NeilNo policy to phase out fossil fuel mining.Poor
PH One Nation Chris BradburySupport for protection of farmland from mining, but no reference to a general phasing out of fossil fuel mining.  Poor

6. Strong independent integrity commission

  • Good: An independent commission with strong powers to investigate any potentially corrupt conduct affecting public decision-making by any persons including politicians, public servants and 3rd parties, and with the ability to:
    • initiate public hearings
    • make public reports
    • act on the basis of information from any source
    • investigate historical corruption
  • Fair: An independent commission with strong powers to investigate any potentially corrupt conduct affecting public decision-making by (at least) politicians and public servants and at least 2 of the 4 other powers specified in the ‘good’ category
  • Poor: An independent commission with limits on the scope of conduct covered and/or lesser powers than in the ‘fair’ category
CandidatePolicy overviewScore
Greens Neil Barker  Propose a strong independent commission covering public servants and politicians; features include: Extensive powers to investigate potential corruption Same powers covering politicians and public servants Ability to act on public tip offs Ability to investigate historical behaviour (10 years) Power to hold public hearings Strong protection for whistleblowers and journalists. The Greens’ own Bill and the Bill introduced by Helen Haines (and supported by the Greens) would both create a strong independent commission (refer to the independent analysis by the Centre for Public Integrity).Good
Liberal Democrats John HerronNo reference to a Federal integrity commission in policy documents.Poor
ALP Rob MitchellPropose a strong independent commission covering public servants, politicians and their staff; features include: Power to initiate inquiries into serious and systemic corruption Ability to act in response to whistleblowers and public complaints Commissioner with single fixed term and security of tenure Overseen by bipartisan Parliamentary Committee Power to investigate historical corruption Power to hold public hearings Power to make findings of fact (including corrupt conduct), but not make determinations of criminal liability; potential criminal conduct to be referred to police or DPP Findings subject to judicial review. Labor supported both the Greens’ Bill and the Helen Haines’ Bill in Parliament, both of which would create a strong independent commission (refer to the independent analysis by the Centre for Public Integrity).Good
Liberal Richard WelchA weak proposal for an integrity commission but deficiencies include: Scope confined to serious criminal conduct Unable to make findings of corruption at large in the public sector (including politicians); only the courts able to make corruption finding Cannot act on referrals from the public regarding the public sector (including politicians) Would not have the power to hold public hearings regarding corruption in the public sector (including politicians). Refer to independent analysis of options by Centre for Public Integrity and their detailed analysis of the Gov proposal.Poor
UAP Paul McRaeNo reference to a Federal integrity commission.Poor
AFP Christopher NeilNo reference to a Federal integrity commission.Poor
PH One Nation Chris BradburyNo reference to a Federal integrity commission.Poor

7. Political donation law reform

  • Good: Major strengthening of current laws including:
    • caps on donation amounts
    • caps on parties’, candidates’ and 3rd parties’ expenditure
    • increased public funding of parties’ campaigns
    • continuous disclosure of donations and reduced disclosure threshold
  • Fair: Some strengthening of current laws, including at least 2 of the 4 areas in the ‘good’ category
  • Poor: Marginal (or no) tightening of current arrangements (less than in the ‘fair category’)
CandidatePolicy overviewScore
Greens Neil Barker  Extensive reforms including: ban on donations from mining, development, tobacco, alcohol, gambling, banking, defence and pharmaceutical industries cap of $1,000 on other donations timely disclosure of donations public funding of election campaigns and party administration caps on election expenditure (parties, candidates and 3rd parties)Good
Liberal Democrats John HerronNo reference to political donations law reform.Poor
ALP Rob MitchellLimited reform specified in policy documents, including public funding for elections and limiting Federal campaign expenditure; no reference to caps on donations or improved disclosure requirements. However, Labor has introduced Bills in the Senate for real time disclosure of donations and a lowered disclosure level.Fair
Liberal Richard WelchNo reference to political donations law reform.Poor
UAP Paul McRaeNo reference to political donations law reform.Poor
AFP Christopher NeilNo reference to political donations law reform.Poor
PH One Nation Chris BradburyNo reference to political donations law reform.Poor