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Wednesday, 12 October 2011
Page: 11607

Carbon Pricing


Mr ABBOTT ( Warringah Leader of the Opposition ) ( 14:00 ): My question is to the Prime Minister. I remind the Prime Minister of her promise during the election that 'What I say in this campaign is what I will do.' I ask the Prime Minister why the government is now imposing the world's biggest carbon tax on Australia's forgotten families when the Prime Minister also said during the election campaign, 'There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead.'


Ms GILLARD ( Lalor Prime Minister ) ( 14:00 ): To the Leader of the Opposition I say you are being marooned by the tide of history. Your question could not make it clearer. As history has marched past you in this parliament today, there you are, standing on the sidelines, relentless negativity the order of the day. Let me remind the Leader of the Opposition that the plan that has passed this House of Representatives today to put a price on carbon means that we will cut taxes for Australian working people. We will cut taxes for Australians who earn less than $80,000 a year. We will increase the tax-free threshold from $6,000 to $18,200—tripling it. We will make sure that there are a million people who are not in the tax system. We will increase payments for family payments. We will increase pensions; 1.8 million pensioner households will on average come out $210 in front.

And who is the threat to all of this? Who is the threat to the living standards of Australians? Who seeks to impose upon them an additional cost? Who is the threat? It is the Leader of the Opposition with his reckless plan to impose a burden of $1,300 on Australians taxpayers. It is time for the Leader of the Opposition to accept that this House of Representatives today has chosen to put a price on carbon pollution, to make our biggest polluters pay the price of the carbon pollution they generate, to use that money to increase pensions and to cut taxes, to protect Australian jobs and to seize a clean-energy future. And there the Leader of the Opposition sits, marooned with his negativity, wanting to put an extra tax on taxpayers and give that money to the big polluters—too stubborn, too relentlessly negative to even come into this parliament and vote to support steelworkers' jobs, a remarkable choice embracing negativity after days and days of campaigning and trying to instil fear into those very workers.

This House of Representatives has decided today to seize the future. As we go out and grab that future with both hands, there will be the Leader of the Opposition on the sidelines, saying no with no policies to guide him, as always.


Mr ABBOTT ( Warringah Leader of the Opposition ) ( 14:03 ): My supplementary question is to the Prime Minister. Instead of blustering about being on the right side of history, will the Prime Minister now apologise for misleading the Australian people? Is she capable of that one simple word: 'sorry'?


Ms GILLARD ( Lalor Prime Minister ) ( 14:04 ): To the Leader of the Opposition: doesn't it strike you—doesn't it strike everyone in this parliament—as somewhat strange that, on a day where we have passed through this House of Representatives a major economic reform; on a day in which we have been focused on a clean-energy future, on jobs for Australians in the future, on a better environment for jobs for Australians in the future; the only thing the Leader of the Opposition can focus on is me? Actually, it is about the future of Australia. Have you got anything to say—one thing, one word, one sentence, half a sentence—about Australian jobs? No, you do not. Do you have one plan that stacks up for a clean-energy future? No, the Leader of the Opposition does not. Does he have one plan to protect Australian jobs? No, he has voted against it recklessly in this parliament. Does he have a plan to protect our environment for the future? No, he does not.

Here we have today voted, motivated to make sure Australians in the future have clean-energy jobs and a better environment, and there the Leader of the Opposition sits, playing his politics—all about me, as usual. That is not the issue. The issue is: will this nation have a clean-energy future? We have said yes. You have said no.