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Wednesday, 21 March 2012
Page: 2456

Senator JOYCE (QueenslandLeader of The Nationals in the Senate) (15:05): I move:

That the Senate take note of the answers given by the Minister for Finance and Deregulation (Senator Wong) to questions without notice asked by Senators Cormann, Joyce and Edwards today relating to the carbon tax.

It has been confirmed today that there is an acknowledgement that the state most affected by a carbon tax will be the state of Queensland—the state of Queensland, which this weekend goes to an election; the state of Queensland, where currently the Labor Party's approach is, 'Feel sorry for us, and that is why you must vote for us.' They have given up trying to win the election. They are basically saying, 'You must feel sorry for us.' You must feel sorry that they have been so totally and utterly incompetent. You would not marry someone you felt sorry for. You certainly would not go to a dentist and say: 'Can you stick that drill in my mouth and have a bit of a scrape around even though you are inherently clumsy and incompetent but you've got a nice smile? I feel sorry for you.' The people of Queensland this weekend will not be voting for somebody they feel sorry for; they will be voting for somebody they believe is competent. That means that the Labor Party are gone. We had this ridiculous position where we had Kate Jones and the member for Toowoomba North running around pretending they are not actually in the Labor Party anymore. But it is the same Labor Party up there that we see down here. We can go through all the manifestations of this, but one of the greatest assets that I have had to campaign against the Australian Labor Party, the Greens and the Independents is the carbon tax. When everything else might be letting you down and you are losing the crowd a bit, you just go back to the carbon tax—talk about the carbon tax because they absolutely hate it; they are pathological in their hatred of it. But you have said that it is your major accomplishment. Unfortunately, it is not going to be the major accomplishment for the people of Mackay, Rockhampton or Gladstone because these are the people who will lose their jobs—41,000 jobs are going. We have also found out that, even by 2050, the effect on the Queensland economy is equivalent to the size of the current Queensland economy.

This is what is happening with this mad tax. Apparently over here we are endowed with the capacity to change the temperature of the globe. They can do it; they can change it. It is not God; it is the Labor Party. They can make it rain, they can make it cold, they can change the temperature of the globe and all they have to do is just bang a new broad based consumption tax on you. It is all so simple. Why didn't we think of that? A new broad based consumption tax that affects the climate is just so logical.

We have seen, up hill and down dale, the Labor Party's total and utter incompetence. One of the other areas of incompetence is their debt. It is always the same—you can always track them down. When they cannot do something, they get in a consultant and borrow the money from somewhere else. That is basically how it works: using consultants, public servants and debt. In Queensland they are currently at $62.3 billion in gross debt. They are heading towards $85.4 billion in gross debt. Down here we are currently at $233 billion in gross debt. We only have another $17 billion left on the overdraft before the cheques start bouncing. That is what is happening. This is what you have.

In the midst of that, when we should be trying to get the economy moving along what are we doing? We are going to cool the planet. We are going to recalibrate our nation and my state's economy with a colourless, odourless gas. We are going to work out how we are going to fix it all. We are going to get something that was formerly free—that is the air you breathe--and we are going to charge people for it. Because we know they might try and get out of that, we will find a very sneaky way to hit them up with this tax. We will make it a consumption tax based primarily on electricity.

What drives Queensland's economy? It is coal. It drives our nation's economy as our biggest export. Coal is carbon, but under the Labor Party carbon is evil. It is evil rock, naughty rock. We cannot have any of that. But, apparently, when it passes over water it becomes righteous, and then it becomes righteous rock, but whilst it is here it is naughty rock and naughty rock must be taxed. We must have a massive tax to stop people using it, stop people staying warm. You cannot be warm anymore—turn off those heaters, turn off those air conditioners and stop cooking toast. This is the message from the Labor Party to you. It is evil to watch television. Stop it. Do not iron the clothes anymore, naughty housewife. Stop it immediately. We must all return to the caves. Let us return to being content hunters and gatherers on the forest floor. There goes the Labor Party.