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Thursday, 19 June 2014
Page: 6731

Carbon Pricing


Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (14:38): My question is to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development. Can the Deputy Prime Minister outline the impact of the carbon tax on the road transport sector and can he tell the House what stands in the way of relieving the road transport sector of this burden?


Mr TRUSS (Wide BayDeputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development) (14:38): I thank the member for Casey for his question. He recognises how important the trucking industry is to the Australian economy and indeed his own local community, where there is substantial agribusiness in the wine industry, berries, apples and flowers, all of which require the trucking industry to bring them to market. So extra costs imposed on the trucking industry add to the costs of producers and of course increase the cost of living for consumers. The trucking industry has welcomed strongly this government's commitment to $50 billion worth of investments mainly in our national road system. They are also very pleased with the commitment for $248 million for the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program and $565 million to fix up road black spots. All of these things help build a better road system. But if Labor were still in office the story would be very different today. They would be forcing legislation through the parliament this week to impose the carbon tax on the trucking industry, to add close to 7c a litre to their fuel costs, add to the cost of moving things around the nation, add to the costs of business and add to the costs of consumers.

In addition, our government has not increased the road user charge this year—something Labor never did. They raised the road user charge every year on the trucking industry to add to their costs. But this government has not increased the road user charge and that is of enormous benefit to the industry.

Mr Albanese: Madam Speaker—

The SPEAKER: The member for Grayndler will resume his seat.

Mr TRUSS: The reality is—

The SPEAKER: The Deputy Prime Minister has the call. The member for Grayndler will resume his seat.

Mr Abbott: Warren, keep going.

Mr TRUSS: The trucking industry on its own accord has reduced its emissions by 35 per cent, but that has not stopped Labor—

The SPEAKER: The member for Grayndler will resume his seat or remove himself under 94(a). the choice is his. You know perfectly well that under the practice there is provision where the standing orders are being abused, as you have today, that I will not give you the call. The Deputy Prime Minister.

Mr TRUSS: Labor today—

Mr Albanese interjecting

The SPEAKER: Remove yourself under 94(a).

The member for Grayndler then left the chamber.

Mr TRUSS: Labor today are feigning concern about pensioners but it did not stop them from imposing a $550 per household impost on pensioners through their carbon tax. They were happy to carbon tax them but now they are not prepared— (Time expired)