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Tuesday, 11 October 2011
Page: 11515


Mr ENTSCH (LeichhardtChief Opposition Whip) (22:43): I rise to support the amendment put forward by the Leader of the Opposition. I have to agree with the member for Makin inasmuch as we are trying to delay this vote. We are in fact trying to encourage the Prime Minister to show that she has at least some level of integrity in relation to maintaining a commitment that she made prior to this last election where she said, 'There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead.' We have seen what she has done, she has trashed the promise and we are in the situation that we find ourselves in tonight. I see the member for Dawson with the 4,500 submissions that have been rejected—4,500 rejections. There were only 73 submissions accepted. Those 4,500 were submissions that said, 'We do not agree with the government and we do want the opportunity of being able to express a point of view and have a vote.' I actually have a couple of those submissions from my constituents, who raise some serious concerns and disappointments. One of them that I have here is from Sally Bayne from Bayview Heights in my electorate. In her single page submission she talks about things such as the tax weakening the Australian economy, that the tax will not make even a half of one per cent difference to the international carbon dioxide level and that it would be far better for the environment for the government to concentrate efforts and finances in other areas, such as reduction of use of plastics—particularly bottles and bags—and, of course, financing cheap and regular public transport. And so she goes on—it is quite a thoughtful submission.

I have another one here from Bernie Treston, a solicitor in my area and clearly somebody who has put a lot of thought into his submission. Again, he expresses concerns about the mass of paperwork and employment of many public servants to try to implement the proposed methods of limiting pollution when there are so many cheaper and more effective ways of achieving results. Of particular concern is that it is likely to increase the costs of production, mainly caused through increase in electricity charges. He fails to see how they can pass this on to their customers.

Both of those submissions were rejected, and in the rejection letters the committee stated: 'The committee has received your email as correspondence. While the committee considers the views in correspondence, it does not publish correspondence on its webpage. This does not lessen the importance of your contribution, however only those documents that went to specific detail about the bills were published as submissions.' I have one of the submissions that was actually accepted by this committee, and it was by Rob Feith. This is his submission:

I am writing to express my support for the Government to legislate to put a price on Carbon. I urge the government to continue to move ahead with the Carbon tax.

That was the total extent of his submission, whereas you have Sally Bayne's and Bernie Treston's missing out completely.

When we talk about that, there are many others. Fred Ariel and Dennis Cole of Raging Thunder Adventures have expressed to me very serious concerns about the impact on their tourism business. And Phil Hobbs from Tusa Dive in Cairns says that already the tourism industry has done it very difficult, and here we have a situation where we have the government now pushing this through and breaking a promise.

All we are saying in this amendment here is to let us take it back to the people, to let us hold this over until the 44th parliament and to let the people have an opportunity to have a say. The fact that these 4,600 which rejected this government's submission that we ought to have a carbon tax were not accepted I think is unprecedented. In fact of all the submissions they could only find something like 73 that actually agreed with them, and they are the only ones that they were prepared to accept.

It is just absolutely outrageous that the government is continuing to push this through. I can tell you now that there are many people on the other side who will not be around in the 44th parliament. I can guarantee you that. There is outrage in my community of Leichhardt and many other areas—everywhere I go. They are absolutely disgusted by the antics of this. They certainly do not accept the proposition that has been put forward by this government. They totally reject it and they demand a vote. (Time expired)