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Monday, 19 September 2011
Page: 10536

Mr COULTON (ParkesThe Nationals Chief Whip) (18:12): The Clean Energy Bill 2011 and related bills have no mandate. These bills will send Australian jobs offshore. These bills will have no global or local environmental benefit. This carbon tax is the largest single change to the Australian economy that we have seen in a lifetime. This legislation will have a devastating effect on Australian citizens and Australian business, particularly small business. In my electorate, these bills will put small business and farmers at a disadvantage. The tax will severely impact on the mining industry and on agriculture.

We have heard from the member for New England of the benefits in the Carbon Farming Initiative. This is a Trojan Horse. The Carbon Farming Initiative will not be of benefit to farmers in regional Australia. The Carbon Farming Initiative will not help the productivity of agriculture in regional Australia. The Carbon Farming Initiative will not be accepted by mainstream farmers. Farmers in Australia and farmers in my electorate are the most efficient, the most energy conscious of anywhere in the world. Farmers in Australia produce more tonnes of grain and fibre per litre of fuel and megalitre of water than anywhere in the world. To hamper them with this tax that is going to impact on their inputs is going to place them at a disadvantage to their trading partners and to their competitors who are trading into our markets. This legislation is based on a false ideology. This legislation is working on the conscience of Australians. Australians do want to help the environment. Australians do care about the future of their children and their grandchildren. These bills will not have any beneficial effect on the environment but they will hamper our children and our grandchildren in their ability to be competitive with the rest of the world. If this country sinks into financial oblivion because of the impost placed by this tax, our country, our children and our grandchildren will not be in a position to undertake any environmental improvements because of the financial impost. They will be at a disadvantage to the rest of the world, and we do not need to lead the world in this charge. (Time expired)