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Tuesday, 1 November 2011
Page: 7738


Senator BERNARDI (South Australia) (13:29): This is a dark day for all Austra­lians. The debate on the Clean Energy Bill 2011 and related bills is evidence of Labor's monumental betrayal of the Australian people, a monumental betrayal by a govern­ment that stole the election based on a lie. It is a government that is captive to an extreme green agenda. It is also a government that seeks to implement a policy that will not achieve its aims and intentions, a policy that is informed by incomplete and biased science. I am constantly amazed how every member of this Labor government can step into this great house of parliament and honestly say that they are representing the will of the people. The evidence is there that they have deceived Australians, and by making these statements they are deceiving themselves. They are blind to their failures and are led by an extreme green party who are taking them into their world of skewed priorities and poisonous policies. Frankly, it is an absolute disgrace. Labor's deception began just days before Australians went to the polls. Julia Gillard promised Australians, on national television no less—

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( Senator Furner ): Order! You know the correct title to use when you are referring to a member of the other house.

Senator BERNARDI: Their name? Sorry, I missed that, Mr Acting Deputy President.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Senator Bernardi, you know the correct way to refer to a member from the other house.

Senator BERNARDI: Did I refer to 'Ms Gillard'? Is that incorrect?

Senator Milne: She's the Prime Minister.

Senator Cash: The Prime Minister or Ms Gillard.

Senator BERNARDI: Okay. Well, the Prime Minister told a blatant untruth on national television when she said, 'There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead.' People may indeed be sick of hearing us say that, but we have to repeat that promise again and again and again because it was such a huge betrayal of the Australian people. Would Ms Gillard be Prime Minister today if she had told Australians the truth before the election? Just days after she made this false promise she reinforced her deception by saying repeatedly, 'I rule out a carbon tax.' The Prime Minister misled the Australian people to get their votes, and now that she is in the top job Australians are quite rightly questioning whether she could care less about what they think. I have to say, it is no wonder that politicians are held in such low esteem by the public when the leader of a country can tell blatant falsehoods in order to get what she wants.

So I would say to the Australian people that this Labor government is based on a sham. It gained power by hoodwinking Australians and it has held onto power by continuing this ruse and by getting into bed with the Greens. It is entirely right that so many Australians feel so outraged by this. They should feel outraged, too, because the alliance between the Greens and the Labor Party that formed government fills everyday Australians with concern. The Greens party cares only for an extreme left-wing ideal. It has ideals that are rife with hypocrisy and it will do almost anything to see them become a reality. The Greens party has repainted old-fashioned Marxism with a pale-green brush and convinced a section of the Australian public that its agenda is cuddling koalas and saving trees. But make no mistake: this is a radical party that seeks to fundamentally change our economy and our society, and this party is pulling the strings in the Prime Minister's office and unfortunately it holds the balance of power in the Senate.

Any Australian who is seriously concerned about the future of our country owes it to themselves to take a deeper look at what the Greens believe, because I can assure all of them that when they examine the context of their policies it will surprise and horrify them. The Greens manifesto effectively wants to reduce humankind to just another species amongst species. We as human beings are just the same as any other animals, in the eyes of the Greens. The Greens want to tax all of us to the point of exhaustion. Their economic policy agenda lists tax after tax after tax. They want to take more money out of the pockets of everyday Australians and yet they want Australians to also pay more for electricity. They want to get rid of coal fired power stations and replace them with technology that simply cannot deliver the level of power that this country needs. This is yet another demonstration of the Greens party's complete lack of grasp of reality.

It is like they are living in a twilight zone, putting aside any semblance of common sense in order to realise their green dreams. This is a party whose leader wants to see one world government—long the domain of conspiracy theorists. Senator Bob Brown proved just how ridiculous his policies are when he said, 'Why shouldn't we now join vigorous moves in Europe and at the United Nations for a global people's assembly based on one person, one vote, one value?' Along with his band of green minstrels, we see further evidence that the Greens have their priorities all wrong. Senator Brown once issued a press release calling for a register of businesses based on the religious beliefs of their owners, and yet at the same time members of the Greens party promote and support boycotts of businesses that do trade with Israel or that are owned by Jews—actions that sicken most normal Australians.

The Greens have also developed an audacious reputation for hypocrisy. Senator Bob Brown was reported as saying that 'people do not make large donations to political parties without having in mind favour in return'. Yet that purity did not stop him and his party pocketing the largest ever individual donation in Australia's political history—$1.6 million. What about the suggestions and accusations that could have been aimed at Senator Brown and his party when they then asked a number of questions in this place that were directly relevant to the business interests of that donor? Any cursory examination gives it an aromatic scent of dodgy Third World politics. This is a party big on grandstanding and small on substance. It is a party with an extreme agenda that is very damaging to all of Australia. The Greens are an alarmist movement that will seek to trade in and profit from human misery because that will suit their political agenda. Why on earth, I and the Australian people ask, are Labor letting the Greens run the country? It is because they are scared of losing power. The Labor Party spent 11 years in the opposition wilderness and when they finally got into government they stuffed up on a monumental scale. Labor know they are incapable of running the country effectively. We have seen it with the bungled Home Insulation Program, the BER, cash for clunkers, the citizens assembly that never saw the light of day, green loans, Fuelwatch, GroceryWatch and I could go on. Labor are scrambling. They are scared and they are clinging to the Greens as the only hope they have of surviving in the short term. But make no mistake, just as a female praying mantis bites the head off its mate after copulation, so too will this grubby alliance with the Greens destroy the Labor Party.

Labor is letting the Greens call the shots and Australians are going to pay dearly for it. The first thing they are going to pay dearly for is this carbon tax. This carbon tax will have a detrimental effect on Australia. It will move Australian businesses and jobs offshore. It will cause thousands of Austra­lians to lose their jobs. It will have a destructive impact on our country's international competitiveness. It will push up prices for already struggling Australian families and it will not provide any benefit for the environment. Even the government's own people have admitted this. Former climate change minister Penny Wong was quite adamant that a carbon tax was not effective. I will give you some quotes from Penny Wong:

A carbon tax is a less efficient way in the Australian Government's view of dealing with this issue.

This too was Senator Wong:

Unfortunately a carbon tax is not the silver bullet some people would think.

So said Senator Wong:

You can't have any environmental certainty with a carbon tax.

Once again Senator Wong said:

The introduction of a carbon price ahead of effective international action can lead to perverse incentives for such industries to relocate or source production offshore.

This carbon tax is based on false assumpt­ions and dubious science. It is based on science muddied by self-interest. Why, we ask ourselves, is this government seeking to impose this ridiculous tax on us? What have they actually based it on? They have based it on the IPCC, that bastion of independence and impartiality—I only wish Hansard could detect the sarcasm in my voice when I say that. This government, time and time again, has used information from the IPCC to justify its misguided policies on climate change. Yet last year the IPCC was exposed as a deceptive and incompetent organisation. It claimed that its reports were based on conclusions by thousands of scientists, yet only a relative handful of scientists contri­buted to its climate change sections. Many of the leading authors of the IPCC reports are graduate students in their 20s. One co-author was a previous Greenpeace campaigner and became an author at the IPCC at the age of 25. Another one became a lead author well before getting her PhD and was co-authoring reports 10 years before even that. Some unkindly suggest that these youngsters were chosen based on their malleability and compliance or on their precommitment to climate change alarmism, but at least they actually did some research. The IPCC attributed reports of Himalayan glaciers melting to a scientist who actually never made those claims, yet this did not stop the Chairman of the IPCC using this falsified information to justify a research grant going to his own organisation.

The fraud continues with the IPCC's claim that natural disasters would increase due to global warming. Third World nations use this as the basis to seek millions of dollars in compensation, yet this IPCC claim was based on an unpublished report that had not been subject to scientific scrutiny. What about that fairytale that IPCC reports are solely based on peer reviewed research? It is exactly that: a fairytale. For example, in its 2007 assessment report, 30 per cent of the citations were not peer reviewed. This is despite the IPCC Chairman, Dr Pachauri, saying to legislators in 2008:

We carry out an assessment of climate change based on peer-reviewed literature, so everything that we look at and take into account in our assessments has to carry (the) credibility of peer-reviewed publications—we don't settle for anything less than that.

That is a blatant falsehood and not one single person corrected his statement, not one scientist. Such dishonesty is mind-boggling, yet that is what this government has built this outlandish and outrageous tax upon. Our government has swallowed the IPCC information hook, line and sinker and they have employed their very own mouthpieces to perpetuate more of the same.

Take for example the PT Barnum of climate science, Tim Flannery. Why should we believe what he says about the impending threat of rising sea levels when he owns a low-lying waterfront home on the Hawkesbury River? This is a man who, despite all of his alarmist comments about sea levels rising and global warming, has said on the ABC that he cannot explain why we have gone through a slight cooling trend for the last 10 years, just as the alarmists cannot explain recent best research that confirms there has been no statistical warming for 10 years, despite an ongoing increase in carbon dioxide emissions. This is why the alarmists and this government will not answer some fundamental questions. By how much will this carbon tax, which will disadvantage every Australian, reduce global warming? How many droughts will this carbon tax avoid? By how much will this carbon tax stop sea levels rising? How much more rain will fall due to the this carbon tax being imposed? How many fewer climate change refugees will end up coming to our shores in leaky boats? They will not answer these questions simply because they cannot. The government also cannot answer this simple question: why is the three per cent of human caused emissions driving climate change and not the 97 per cent of natural carbon dioxide emissions? The amount of complete and utter nonsense that this government have swallowed is staggering and now they are forcing the Australian people to digest this nonsense too.

This package of bills began with political falsehoods of monumental proportions. It is built on a succession of lies, falsehoods and distorted science. These bills are based on alarmism rather than prudence. They are based on spin rather than substance. Why should that surprise us, given the track record of this government? This carbon tax proposal is sustained and endorsed by rent seekers, extremists and government funded propaganda. I am here to tell you Australians have had enough. They have had enough of the mismanagement. They have had enough of the deceit. They have had enough of the waste of their hard-earned taxpayer dollars. They have had enough of Senator Bob Brown and his Greens party pulling the strings while the hapless Prime Minister dances to his tunes. Australians do not want this carbon tax. It is a tax that will fundamentally change our economy, raise prices for families, push our jobs overseas and cripple business, and all for no environmental gain. It is a tax that is a child of this unholy Labor-Greens alliance. It is a tax that is grounded in dubious and self-interested science. Australians do not want this tax. This Greens-led Labor government does not deserve to be called the Australian government, because it continually fails to represent the interests of the Australian people and the interests of the Australian nation.