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Thursday, 21 March 2013
Page: 2983


Mr HUNT (Flinders) (15:09): I support the motion. Let me start by saying that the reason this parliament needs to break and to visit the Australian people and to work with them is that, after today, we will face the results of a choice between the Prime Minister who gave us the pink batts program or the Prime Minister who gave us the carbon tax program. Let us look at what these two choices have given us and understand why we have to go to the Australian people, why we need to face the Australian people. And we should be facing them with an election immediately, whoever is finally given the poison chalice of the Labor leadership and the revolving door at 4.30 pm today.

There are 20 great failures which we have identified, which need to be discussed with the Australian people, in the climate and environment portfolio alone. The amazing thing is that, when you look at that list of 20 failures from this current government, 10 are from the member for Griffith and 10 are from the member for Lalor. They are equally bad. It does not matter who gets the conch, it does not matter who gets the nod, they are two failed prime ministers with a failed history in their own areas.

Let me run through 20 failures. Firstly, the carbon tax broken promise—that is a Gillard breach of faith. Let me remind the House of what the Prime Minister said before the last election. The day before the last election she said, 'I rule out a carbon tax.' Six days before the last election she said, 'There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead'—one of the more infamous statements in Australian parliamentary history. The carbon tax under the government she leads, which was voted for by every member of the current government, is a $36 billion tax. It is an electricity tax which was responsible for Australian families facing a 10 per cent average increase in electricity costs, after the GST is included, and for Australian manufacturers facing a 14½ per cent average increase in electricity costs. It was a tax created through a breach of faith and brought in in a way which damages the livelihoods of Australian families, Australian pensioners, Australian farmers, Australian small business owners and Australian manufacturers. That is the act of breach. That is the faith which has been broken and that is why, amongst many other reasons, we need this break from the parliament to take this matter to the Australian people.

I would also say that the grand irony of this broken promise is that Australia’s emissions go up, not down. Under the government’s own modelling, our emissions go up from 560 million tonnes to 637 million tonnes. What does that mean? It means it is all of the pain for no gain—not under our modelling, not as a consequence of our say so, but on the basis of the government’s own Treasury modelling. It was a broken promise, it causes pain and it does not even do its job. That is the first of the items.

The second of course is the home insulation program. It was linked to four tragedies. It was responsible for 224 house fires. It has seen 70,000 repairs. It cost more than $2.1 billion, of which more than half a billion dollars was to fix the roofs. That was the program that was delivered in defiance of 21 warnings by the now bidding-to-be-Prime Minister, the member for Griffith. When he was Prime Minister, there were 21 warnings—whether they were from the electrical and communications association, from the union itself, from state governments, from authorities—and I seek to table those 21 warnings to the government.

The SPEAKER: Is leave granted to table the documents?

Mr Jenkins: No.

The SPEAKER: Leave is not granted.

Mr HUNT: Oh, Harry! That was Mr Rudd’s contribution.

The Green Loans program was a Rudd government program, and we know that the Green Loans program wasted $100 million and retrofitted just over 1,000 houses. The Citizens Assembly program was scrapped before commencement. That was from the current Prime Minister and not the previous one. The Solar Homes and Communities plan had a $500 million cost overrun—the member for Griffith. Then there was the Solar Flagships Program, for which, after some years, there is not a cracker, not a watt of energy, not a thing built. That was a grand member for Griffith announcement. All promise, no delivery. Cash for Clunkers. We know who that was. That was the current Prime Minister. The Green Car Innovation Fund. That was the previous Prime Minister. The Low Emissions Plan for Renters. That collapsed. That was the previous Prime Minister. The Solar Hot Water Rebate. That was the previous Prime Minister. The Clean Technology Grants, which were stopped and started and stopped and have now been started again, after the MYEFO came out. That is the current Prime Minister. The Connecting Renewables Initiative, which was folded. That is the current Prime Minister. The Renewable Energy Future Fund. Squandered. That was the previous Prime Minister. The Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute, which delivered more in lavish dinners and conferences than progress on carbon capture. That was a Rudd initiative. The Carbon Capture and Storage Flagships Program. That has stalled. That was the previous Prime Minister. The Green Buildings for Tax Breaks Program, which was scrapped before commencement. That was the current Prime Minister. Phantom credits, which was scrapped two and a half years early, was the current Prime Minister's. Carbon tax advertising: $70 million wasted and a new program started this week—the current Prime Minister. The Green Start Program, which was scrapped before commencement. That was the current Prime Minister. And the Contracts for Closure Program, which was scrapped before commencement.

Twenty programs, 20 failures—10 failures for the previous Prime Minister and 10 failures for the current Prime Minister. Neither can govern and neither deserves to govern. The Australian people deserve an election. That is why we need to support this motion.