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Tuesday, 11 October 2011
Page: 11463


Mr CIOBO (Moncrieff) (18:54): The point I go on about with respect to Labor's approach in this particular debate, and the reason why this is not the correct approach, and why the coalition's way is a better way, is perhaps best summed up by some of the media commentary. Labor's approach to this has been not to tell the truth prior to the last federal election about their intentions and to introduce something that the Prime Minister said she would not introduce.

Labor's approach is also only to speak about the positives and completely ignore the negatives that flow from their policy. The old adage is, 'You can only fool some of the people some of the time, and you can't fool all of the people all of the time.'

Labor's approach is perhaps best summed up by a variety of front pages from the Gold Coast Bulletin. The first one is headed, 'Julia's fun tax. Carbon scheme to bring more pain to the Coast.' I will read very briefly the first couple of paragraphs from this story. It says:

Take a good look at this scene—you might not see it so often once the fun policy in Canberra hit us between the eyes with a carbon tax.

Tourists like Perth couple Stewart Jarvis and Kate Walker won't be able to afford the inflated airfares, the hiked-up hotel rates or the mark up on our theme parks as companies scramble to pass on the additional costs.

Chief killjoy Julia Gillard's attempt to sell the tax to the nation yesterday only reaffirmed fears here on the Coast that our number one industry, tourism, will be hit and hit hard.

Then this page is headed 'Rescue me. Carbon tax punishes helicopter heroes.' This is a story about how charitable operations like RACQ CareFlight will have to pay more under Labor's carbon tax without any offsetting compensation. And there is this front page with the heading, 'Emission impossible. Carbon tax could bring battling city to its knees.' Flights and accommodation, up. Rates, up. Theme park tickets, up. Hospital fees, up. Construction costs, up.

There is this story about Bond University on the Gold Coast. Most people, including me, would have thought that an educational institution would not be liable for Labor's carbon tax. The reality is quite different though. The article says:

Bond University expects to pay an additional $2 million a year under the Federal Government's carbon tax and says it will have to cut more than 100 jobs or raise tuition fees to compensate.

These are facts about what is going to happen under Labor's carbon tax in a unilateral sense. There is another front page of the Gold Coast Bulletin. It says: '"Power cost surge to hurt ratepayers," warns mayor. City's $112 million carbon bill.' These are the negatives from Labor's carbon tax which members opposite do not ever want to talk about.

You could understand the logic if these negative consequences were occurring in our economy at the same time as they were occurring in other economies. But the Labor Party pretend that the negative consequences simply do not exist and I guess the next election will probably sort out what the Australian people think about that. The Australian people know that there are very real and significant negative consequences from Labor's carbon tax: job losses, increased rates, increased power bills, more expensive aircraft flights, more expensive fuel, household costs to go up. You name it there will be a massive price impact. But it will not be happening around the rest of the world; it will only be happening in this country.

This is not a choice between a carbon tax or nothing. The reality is that countries can still invest in renewables, countries can still commercialise new R&D and countries can still explore new alternatives without the impost of a carbon tax. Perhaps a good example is what the UAE is doing with their Masdar project. That country is currently one of the leaders in energy production and the Crown Prince wants to ensure that the UAE is one of the leaders in the world of renewable energy in the future. Guess what—they are doing it without a carbon tax.

The reality is that Labor's plan is not the correct approach. Most fundamentally it is not the correct approach because it is an approach that is based on deceit. It is an approach without a mandate. It is an approach without any bona fide support of the Australian people. Labor is simply burying its head in the sand and shrieking that there are only benefits and no negatives, when the evidence is crystal clear that the costs are significant. That only reinforces how out of touch this government has become.