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Tuesday, 22 November 2011
Page: 9146


Senator BOSWELL (Queensland) (15:30): The game is up for the Labor Party. Its polling today is 30 per cent, down about two or three per cent, despite the fact that the Prime Minister has been in every photo shoot with every leader of every country in the world. The question has to be asked: why are the polls moving backwards when she has had such a particularly good week? I will tell you why, Mr Deputy President. It is because the Labor Party has not convinced the Aust­ralian public that a carbon tax is a good thing. That is why its polls are moving backwards.

Let us get to the nitty-gritty of this. By 2050 there will be a $1 trillion loss to GDP. By 2020 it will be about $33 billion according to Treasury and $133 billion according to the Centre for International Economics. But where is the modelling? The modelling has not been released. Yes, thousands of pages have been released, but for the GTEM and the MMRF model, the assumptions, the variables and the underlying databases have not been released. The modelling has not been released. Warwick McKibbin, Henry Ergas, Brian Fisher—they have all asked to see the modelling and it has not been forthcoming, despite the fact that Treasury officials have said that it is okay and that the modelling is out there. It is not out there.

During Senate estimates on Monday, 17 October, Phillip Glyde, the straight-shooting Executive Director of ABARES, said: 'You can't run the modelling. There's not enough information out there.' Senator Cormann asked if a third party could do it and Mr Glyde said, 'No, third parties couldn't do it as there's not enough information out there.' That is from the horse's mouth; that is from Phillip Glyde. He said, 'You cannot model the carbon tax with the information that's out there.' Then Treasury official Ms Quinn let the cat out of the bag, too. She said the most recent public release of the model code by ABARES was the model documentation in 2007. That is the last time that model was out, well before the carbon tax.

I do not blame the Labor Party for trying to hide this, because once that modelling gets out there—and the assumptions are based on everyone being there in 2016—it will blow its argument to pieces. It will smash it to smithereens. The Centre for International Economics tried to make assumptions on a model they did not have, and this is what came up: the government estimates the carbon tax will reduce GDP by $32 billion by 2020, while the CIE model shows GDP will decrease by $180 billion. The government estimates the carbon tax will reduce real wages by one per cent; the CIE estimates that real wages will fall by 19 per cent. The government estimates that the carbon tax will increase electricity by 10 per cent; the CIE estimates that electricity prices will increase by 30 per cent. The CIE modelling predicts average household earnings will fall by $11,360 while the government's modelling is $5,110. If the government had nothing to be frightened of it would release that modelling, but it is terrified to release it because those are the figures that are going to come out.

Between us, Senator Cormann and I have asked Senator Wong 25 or 30 times, and she has said, 'Yes, I'll take it on notice,' or 'You aren't worried what the model is; you're not going to vote for it.' We have had obfuscation, we have had every wriggle, every dive and every backfoot movement but the modelling has not been released. The government has lied to the community. It has put this economic burden around the neck of the community and it has not been modelled. Ergas has not been able to get it, McKibbin has not been able to get it and Fisher has not been able to get it. What is the government trying to do? Why is it trying to mislead Australia? Why isn't it being honest? This is the greatest lie ever perpetrated on Australia. The government will not release the modelling because it knows all the other assumptions are going to be much higher than what it is telling the people. (Time expired)

Question agreed to.