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Tuesday, 16 September 2003
Page: 15231

Senator BROWN (12:42 PM) —I move the amendment now circulated for the Australian Greens which is an amendment to—

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Watson)—Your amendment is to the second bill, not the first bill which we are debating at the moment.

Senator BROWN —Thank you. I will flag that and I will follow on from what Senator Allison has just been telling us. The Greens have this amendment, which I flagged last night, coming down the line to the next bill which is complementary to this one. It is to ensure that the taxation on—

Senator Carr —I rise on a point of order. We are being treated to these extraordinary remarks on a second reading speech delivered in a committee stage on a bill. It is now proposed that we discuss a foreshadowed amendment on another bill. I propose that if that is the view being put to us we actually deal with the bill before the chair. Then we can raise these matters directly relating to the amendment in the appropriate place.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN —The Senate is dealing with a bill and Senator Brown has deferred his comments in relation to the amendment but he still wishes to speak to the bill before the chair.

Senator Carr —There is no amendment before the chair.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN —There is a question before the chair, which Senator Brown is entitled to respond to.

Senator BROWN —I remind the honourable Senator Carr that we are in committee. We are past the second reading and we are now in committee. That might help him to sort it out. Now we have that straight, I will continue. There is very great concern amongst people who are looking at the automobile industry and its impact on the environment. It is a major producer of greenhouse gases and carcinogens—that is, cancer causing agents—in the great cities of the world, including the Australian cities. Their concern is that much more be done to reduce the pollution coming from motor vehicles. But there is a contradiction here between the public impulse to buy bigger and more gas guzzling vehicles and the public wish that vehicles be leaner, cleaner and not a greater impediment to the environment. Opinion polls show that in the United States and I guess it is exactly the same here.

Senator Allison has been putting forward to the committee—and I hope the government was listening—a series of measures which ought to be taken up by the government in the absence of any real indication from this government that it understands the environmental impact nearly as well as the public in Australia does. I look forward to a response from the minister to the proposals Senator Allison has put forward and to the definitive proposal I have brought forward to the committee today and which I notice Senator Carr will be considering between now and when it is properly debated during the presentation of the next bill.