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Tuesday, 26 June 2012
Page: 7991

Carbon Pricing

Mr PERRETT (Moreton) (14:59): My question is to the Assistant Treasurer and Minister Assisting for Deregulation. Why is it important that families and small businesses are properly informed about facts with the introduction of the carbon price?

Mr BRADBURY (LindsayAssistant Treasurer and Minister Assisting for Deregulation) (15:00): I thank the member for Moreton for his question. The carbon price will cut greenhouse gas emissions to help tackle climate change and will drive investment in clean energy so that we can build a stronger economy for the future. We all know that the impact of the carbon price will be approximately 0.7 per cent on prices on average. That means that prices will go up on average by less than 1c in the dollar. Power prices are expected to go up by around $3.30 per week on average, but we are providing households with assistance of up to $10.10 per week on average in the form of increases in family payments, increases in pensions and tax cuts.

We know that there has been a lot of misleading information disseminated about the carbon price. That is why we have provided the ACCC with $12.8 million to protect households and small businesses from people who jack up their prices and falsely blame those price rises on the carbon price. Customers and small businesses who have any concerns in relation to pricing can contact the ACCC. We have established a new hotline. We know that most businesses will do the right thing, but those businesses who do not will have to face the ACCC.

While the government is out there trying to crack down on misleading claims, the Leader of the Opposition is out there giving the green light to businesses to jack up their prices and to falsely blame the carbon price. I see that in the last couple of days the Leader of the Opposition has written a letter to businesses and he has enclosed one of his dodgy Liberal Party pamphlets. This particular pamphlet—

Ms Julie Bishop: Madam Deputy Speaker, on a point of order on a question of relevance, the Assistant Treasurer is now talking about internal Liberal Party matters and I do not see how that is relevant to the question.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms AE Burke ): Order! The Assistant Treasurer has the call.

Mr BRADBURY: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. I am talking about this dodgy Liberal Party leaflet. This particular leaflet—

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! The Assistant Treasurer will answer the question before the chair.

Mr BRADBURY: This particular leaflet at least is authorised. It is written and authorised by none other than the member for Dunkley. The Leader of the Opposition has written to businesses and has asked that this dodgy Liberal Party leaflet be put up in their windows. He wants to see businesses jacking up their prices and he says that putting this up in the window will tell customers that the prices have increased as a result of the carbon price. I would say to all businesses around Australia, be very careful and very wary of the Leader of the Opposition. Do not allow him to drag you into his cynical scare campaign because the consequences of that are very serious. Of course, I remind all businesses that, whatever you do, be very careful about making false or misleading claims because if you do mislead your customers you could face fines of up to $1.1 million. I would also say to all customers, look very carefully. Make sure that if anyone makes dodgy claims you pick up the phone and call the ACCC. (Time expired)