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Monday, 30 May 2011
Page: 5019

Carbon Pricing

Mrs MIRABELLA (Indi) (14:44): My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer the Prime Minister to the Australian Food and Grocery Council's modelling that suggests that food and grocery prices will rise by between three and five per cent under a $26 per tonne carbon tax. Given that the Prime Minister won an election based on a promise of no carbon tax, when will she do the right thing and ask Australia's already struggling, forgotten families whether they say yes to a carbon tax by calling an election before its introduction?

Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (14:44): I thank the member for Indi for her question. First, I would say to the member for Indi that I understand that families right around the nation struggle with cost-of-living pressures. That is why, for those families, who also care about the future of this country and also believe that climate change is real, I am determined that we get big polluters to pay the price of carbon pollution and we use that revenue to assist Australian families, to protect Australian jobs and to fund programs to tackle climate change and take us to our clean energy future.

The member for Indi does not believe climate change is real but what she does believe in, presumably, is the Leader of the Opposition's plan to rip money off those families struggling with cost-of-living pressures and to use it to subsidise big polluters. I suggest that the member for Indi actually go to people in her electorate and say, 'Would it be all right by you if you paid more tax and that money went to subsidising big companies that pollute?'—because that is what the member for Indi and the Leader of the Opposition stand for.

Mr Chester interjecting

The SPEAKER: Order, the member for Gippsland!

Ms GILLARD: Rather than trying to distort facts, as we have seen the opposition do as recently as this morning, rather than trying to generate fear, which we see the Leader of the Opposition do every day, rather than be lost in a world of climate change denial and rather than have the kinds of divisions we have seen in the Liberal Party, where the member for Wentworth says about the Leader of the Opposition's plan, 'It won't work and it will cost taxpayers,' we on this side of the House will get on with the job of tackling climate change through the cheapest way available, which is by putting a price on carbon and having it paid by the big polluters, whilst we assist Australian families, protect jobs and fund our transition to a clean energy future. That is the best thing that we can do to assist families as our nation makes this transition.

Having met with some young Australians today, representative of so many other young Australians around the nation, and having met with women today who are taking personal action on climate change, it is clear that the Australian community overwhelmingly believes climate change is real and they want us to provide the leadership we are providing as to how to tackle climate change. They do not want to hear continuing negativity and fear campaigns from the Leader of the Opposition.