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Monday, 7 November 2011
Page: 8426


Senator WONG (South AustraliaMinister for Finance and Deregulation) (21:34): Senator, I think everyone in this chamber knows what you are doing. You are just going through the bill, trying to find provisions, asking questions you are not interested in, in order to give the appearance of asking questions, and then, in between, going on about cooling the planet from a room in Parliament House and other such contributions which demonstrate your biases around this debate. I make the point that the cooling—

Senator Joyce: It is a distinct question. It just needs a very distinct answer—or, just like all the other questions I asked, say you do not know. What is—

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN ( Senator Ludlam ): Senator Joyce, is this a point of order?

Senator Joyce: Yes, the point of order is one of relevance, Chair. I asked: what is the longest term you can go to jail for under this legislation? It is in there. I just want to confirm it with the minister, if she can tell us.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: Senator Joyce, there is no point of order there. I draw your attention back to the amendment that is before the chair. Minister.

Senator Joyce interjecting

Senator WONG: I think it is very funny that Senator Joyce always likes to call me incompetent! Anyway, Senator, I am not sure that public debate is advanced by you just thumbing through legislation and look­ing for particular provisions. I am advised that the heaviest penalty under the act is up to 10 years. I cannot recall at this stage precisely what the offence for that is. I am sure I could get advice on that and find the particular provision, but I am sure, Senator, that would also not alter your view about—

Senator Joyce interjecting

Senator WONG: Senator, I listened to you in silence.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: Senator Joyce, is there a point of order?

Senator Joyce: I distinctly want to know what it is for. I know that if I kill someone I can get seven years, so I am really interested in what takes 10 years, out of the climate change—

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: Senator Joyce, it is disorderly to interrupt a minister or anyone in here unless there is actually a point of order.

Senator WONG: I was going to say—through you, Mr Temporary Chairman—that I am sure that, no matter what answer I give on any matter, Senator Joyce will not alter his opposition to pricing carbon. As I have given him credit for previously, at least he is one of the few on that side who has not changed position. I will see if there is anything further that I can provide on that issue and I will do so if possible, but I invite the senator to perhaps do this chamber the courtesy of allowing Senator Xenophon's amendment to be voted on, or at least allowing his shadow minister, who is supposed to be handling this legislation—

Senator Joyce: Just say you can't answer.

Senator WONG: You really are rude, Senator Joyce. I am pretty robust, but it is just discourteous to the chamber. I invite the chamber to move to voting on Senator Xenophon's amendment. We are very happy to do so. If there is anything further I will come back to Senator Joyce.