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Monday, 21 November 2011
Page: 9006


Senator NASH (New South WalesDeputy Leader of The Nationals in the Senate) (15:23): Colleagues, if ever we needed further evidence that this government is indeed completely hopeless, today we have the living proof. Yet again, we have the government today trying to defend its carbon tax—very thinly, by those on the other side. It is extraordinary stuff. What we are talking about here now in taking note of answers is the fact that the United States President has said that the United States will not have a carbon tax or equivalent by 2016. Are you on the other side not listening? The United States is not going to have one.

Let us have a look at what we have here. As a nation, we produce 1.4 per cent of the world's emissions. That is not 14, not 24, not 64—it is 1.4 per cent only of the world's emissions. Guess how many countries other than Australia are moving to impose a carbon tax, as this government is moving to do, by the middle of next year? Some, several, dozens?

Senator Abetz: None.

Senator NASH: None. Not one other country in the entire world is moving to do what this Labor government is about to do with a carbon tax. To me, it seems curious that we are the only country that is going to do this. We now have confirmation from the President of the United States that they definitely are not going to do it. Let us have a look at what that actually means. The modelling is based on the fact that the US will join with Canada, Japan, India, Korea and China in an international carbon trading system by 2016. Gosh, colleagues, that is not going to happen. The entire modelling system that the government is using to base this on is flawed. Does it not just show, yet again, how hopeless this government is? It simply cannot apply any detail, any logic, any rational thought processes to policy development. It just comes up with these ideas on the run: 'This sounds like a pretty good idea.' Remember BER, pink batts, cash for clunkers, GroceryWatch, Fuelwatch? It is no surprise that the government simply cannot get this right. It gets worse and worse, day by day, for this government.

As we have seen now, with the confirmation by the President of the United States, they are not going to do it either. So there is just us. We are out there leading the world, according to the Prime Minister. Why? Why are we doing this when not one other country is moving to do what we are about to do with a carbon tax? That is just wrong.

This carbon tax is going to create a huge financial impost for families, businesses and—my particular area of interest—farmers. It is going to create a huge financial burden for those families, farmers and businesses across this country. What is going to happen? Nothing. There is not going to be a reduction in emissions. In actuality, it gets worse. Emissions are going to increase from 578 million tonnes now to 621 million tonnes in 2020. It is just stupid. The government is clearly clueless. For whatever reason, it cannot get off this carbon tax train wreck it has put us on, and it is simply wrong. We have heard the United States say they are not going to do anything. So much of what this government has done over previous years with its talk about reducing emissions has hung off the United States doing something—and they are not going to do it.

This government's modelling is completely flawed. We know it has not even modelled properly the increase in electricity costs from a carbon tax. Despite Minister Ludwig's pathetic answer in question time today, we are still none the wiser about the real impact that is going to have. This government will have to answer to the Australian people. The Prime Minister lied to the Australian people before the last election when she said there would be no carbon tax. She is now giving the Australian people a carbon tax, one that no other country in the world is going to implement in the way that this Labor government is foisting its carbon tax on this country. (Time expired)

Question agreed to.