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Wednesday, 17 August 2011
Page: 4642


Senator FEENEY (VictoriaParliamentary Secretary for Defence) (12:32): I will briefly respond. The casual observer of this debate would be forgiven for not being able to recognise the fact that we have now spent the best part of three hours considering a government amendment that is agreed to by the opposition. The reality is that we are witnessing here a manful attempt by those opposite to filibuster this debate. Let me tell you for free, Senator Colbeck, that on filibustering points you are the winner. Your speech gave the greatest impression that you were trying to talk about the subject. You were not, of course, but to the casual observer your speech would have given the most effective appearance of at least trying.

Senator Colbeck, on the 30 seconds of content that appeared in your remarks and your questions in terms of long-term rainfall and those tables—while not relevant to the debate at hand—this is a matter that was obviously part of the consultation paper, the feedback process and the draft regulations. You know all of that. You have asked those questions and got those answers previously. While not relevant to the debate at hand, I will also make the comment that it is an issue that you have already taken up with the government and I am sure that you will continue to do so.

In terms of King Island and your forensic remarks about it, I look forward to the day when you go to King Island and explain how your direct action policy imposes a direct cost of $1,300 per household upon each of them. I will also watch with great interest how you explain to them how your $70 billion worth of budget cuts will impact on them and their community.

Senator Birmingham: This is not helping your cause.

Senator FEENEY: Senator Birmingham, I always welcome your advice. Our policy is that carbon emissions will be cut by five per cent on 2000 levels by 2020, a total of 160 million tonnes of carbon. Senator Joyce, you will note that a weight is ascribed to carbon emission abatement. The fascinating thing about this debate is that your policy is exactly the same. You too seek to reduce carbon emissions by that much by 2020; you too seek to abate some 160 million tonnes of carbon. I am always fascinated to see the threads of climate change scepticism weave their way through your speeches because you are trying to hide your fundamental dishonesty in this debate. On paper, you too are committed to combating climate change. You too are committed to reaching a realistic target by 2020. But in reality you are not. For you, this entire debate is about appealing to the sceptics and the science deniers and hiding from public view your own policy. I hope that you fail in that endeavour. To the extent that any of the previous speeches offered any questions—and they barely did—I think that I have adequately responded.