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Tuesday, 31 May 2011
Page: 5275

Carbon Pricing


Mr HOCKEY (North Sydney) (14:48): My question is to the Treasurer. I refer him again to the words of Professor Garnaut in his report, when he says:

In the long run, households will pay almost the entire carbon price as businesses pass carbon costs through to the users of their products.

Will the Treasurer now admit that he misled the Australian people just last Sunday when he said, 'Only the biggest polluters—less than 1,000—will pay for the pollution they emit'?


Mr SWAN (LilleyDeputy Prime Minister and Treasurer) (14:48): What we have is yet another example of just how shallow the shadow Treasurer is. By the day he gets more hollow. We have been very clear about what we are doing in pricing carbon. Of course the price is paid by the 1,000 largest producers and of course there will be price impacts. That is why we have said every single cent will go to households and will go to industries and will go to programs to drive renewable energy. Every single cent will go in that direction. But there is no credibility left on that side of the House, not when it comes to the shadow Treasurer and not when it comes to the Leader of the Opposition.

The shadow Treasurer was once a believer in a price on carbon, but his situation has got so bad he now has to write performance appraisals for the Financial Review saying how good he is, because he has become a hollow man. There is no alternative policy on that side of the House.

The SPEAKER: Order! The Treasurer will relate his response directly to the question.

Mr SWAN: What they do have is a policy they call direct action. That policy taxes consumers, taxes households and gives the benefits to the biggest polluters. That is what it does and that is what they are so embarrassed about.

Mr Hockey: Mr Speaker, on a point of order. Again, it goes to relevance. The Treasurer was asked a simple question about his own words versus those of Professor Garnaut, not anything else.

The SPEAKER: I have indicated that I desire the Treasurer to relate his material to the question. The Treasurer has finished.