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Monday, 18 June 2012
Page: 3398

Senator CAROL BROWN (TasmaniaDeputy Government Whip in the Senate) (15:26): Before I talk about the issue of carbon pricing, I would like to again echo the words of Senator Conroy in his response to the question on marine bioregions, and that is that the government is committed to delivering a national network of marine reserves, as we have indicated, to protect our marine environment for future generations. As Senator Conroy also said in question time today in relation to recreational fishing, these reserves will not impact recreational fishers, who love to fish, and they will preserve our marine life so that future generations can continue to enjoy this pastime. As someone who comes from a family that enjoys a spot of recreational fishing, I know there will be no impact on recreational fishers, as Senator Conroy has said today.

On the issue of carbon pricing, let us again be clear that a carbon price is the most effective and efficient way to cut greenhouse gas emissions. That is what our clean energy future package will do. It will implement a carbon price that will cut carbon emissions and will also drive investment in clean technologies such as solar and wind. Our carbon price will ensure that big polluters pay the carbon price and not all ordinary Australians, as would happen under Mr Abbott's plan. The carbon price is about making the biggest polluters pay so that millions of Australians can pay less tax. The money raised from the carbon price will go to supporting jobs, encouraging investment in clean technologies and helping households. This is in stark contrast to Mr Abbott's plan, which would ensure that families are worse off. In fact, under Mr Abbott's plan, Australian families would have to pay more money in taxes and he would give that money to the big polluters. Mr Abbott is focused on mindless negativity and opposition. We have seen that here today in question time and again in Senator Mason's response in taking note. It was yet another attempt to scare people into believing falsehoods about the impact of the carbon price. We have had to deal with these falsehoods for the last 16 months. The prime speaker of these falsehoods is Mr Abbott himself and of course he is joined by his frontbench and also his backbench.

Just last week Mr Billson came across to Tasmania. We always like to see visitors to Tasmania. Currently, we have the Save a Mainlander tourism campaign, which Mr Deputy President Parry would know all about—that is, encouraging mainlanders to come to the most beautiful state in Australia. But I digress. Mr Billson came down to Tasmania, but unfortunately he talked about the carbon price and launched into his own scare campaign and repeated falsehoods that have been repeated again and again by Mr Abbott. For the last 16 to 18 months we have seen Mr Abbott telling small businesses that they will face extraordinary impacts, particularly electricity price rises of 25 to 30 per cent.

But Rod Sims of the ACCC came out and said that he could not see any circumstances where an average small business would have a carbon related price of anything like 25 per cent. He just does not see how that could be possible. Mr Abbott has been running around with many falsehoods. But just in the last few weeks we saw Mr Abbott changing his rhetoric a bit—although still on the biggest scare campaign that we have seen in this country for a very long time—from 'It's going to be a wrecking ball' to a slow— (Time expired)