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Tuesday, 22 November 2011
Page: 13285

Carbon Pricing


Mr CHRISTENSEN (Dawson) (15:00): My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer the Prime Minister to evidence given at the carbon tax inquiry by Treasury officials, that they modelled:

… a scheme where countries make the same emission reductions as each other relative to their 'business as usual' path. So the analysis is that OPEC would reduce its emissions relative to its business as usual path by the same amount as Australia.

Is it really the government's assumption that countries such as Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia will reduce emissions by five per cent in 2020 and by 80 per cent in 2050?


Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (15:01): My recollection is that I have been asked this question before. I am very confident I have been asked a question referring to Iran before, and the same answer I gave then is the answer that I will give now.

Mr Pyne: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. To assist the Prime Minister, who is under the misapprehension she has been asked these questions before: firstly, she has not—

The SPEAKER: The Manager of Opposition Business will resume his seat. Clearly there was no point of order as I have ruled the question in order and invited the Prime Minister to respond. The Prime Minister has the call.

Ms GILLARD: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. The answer to the question is the same as the answer has always been, which is that the way in which the member asking the question has just described the Treasury modelling is not right. As has been answered before in this parliament, there is not country-specific information the way the member puts it. We have had Iran pointed to in this parliament before, and it was clear then and is clear now that the modelling has been done on a different basis.

Let me be very clear with the member about the way in which the modelling has been done. The Treasury modelling makes two key assumptions about international action.

Mr Pyne: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I do not wish to test your patience, but the question was not about the Treasury modelling that has been asked about before. It was about the evidence given by Treasury in the carbon tax inquiry about the assumption—

The SPEAKER: The member for Sturt will resume his seat. The Prime Minister is responding to the question.

Ms GILLARD: The next two words I was going to say were two 'key assumptions'. So the answer is as follows. The answer remains as it has always been. The facts are the facts, and no amount of negative campaigning from people without policies changes the facts. And the facts are as follows. The Treasury modelling makes two key assumptions about international action: first, that countries meet their low-end pollution reduction targets for 2020; second, that countries have access to international abatement. Looking at the meaning of those assumptions in the world in which we live—looking at Australia, for example, where we have given a pledge of minus five per cent in 2020—we are assuming that there is an effort that countries do meet the low end of their targets. We are also assuming that there is access to international abatement, and there is access to international abatement. That is because other places in the world have carbon pricing schemes to which you can internationally link.

They are the assumptions in the modelling. On day 2 of question time every question is based on a wrong premise. That is what happens when you have no policies and no plans. And there you are, trying to conjure, to continue a fear campaign. That is what you get reduced to.