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Thursday, 1 March 2012
Page: 2518

Carbon Pricing

Mr HOCKEY (North Sydney) (14:23): My question is to the Prime Minister. I remind the Prime Minister of her response to John Laws in July last year when he demanded a list of the 500 companies who will pay the carbon tax. I quote the Prime Minister: 'So there is a list available that we can send you, John. That's available on the website and we can send that through to you.' When will the Prime Minister keep her promise and release the list of 500 companies that will start paying the world's biggest carbon tax in just four months?

Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (14:24): In answer to the member's question: as the member would probably be aware, there is greenhouse gas reporting legislation which dates from the period of the Howard government, and so people can get on the website and have a look at that information. As I have made the point before, that information is of course not directly comparable to how carbon pricing will work, because, under the legislation that was in this parliament—and I am presuming that the opposition looked at it before they voted against it and voted to endorse their shambolic scheme, so they would be aware of this—the carbon price liability falls on sites that generate carbon pollution in excess of 25,000 tonnes. We have had these debates in the parliament before, because of course there was a period of time when the Leader of the Opposition was saying you could not measure carbon pollution.

Mr Hockey: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order; it goes to relevance. It is simply a question of when the Prime Minister will release the list that she said she would release last July.

The SPEAKER: The Prime Minister has the call to answer the specifics of the question.

Ms GILLARD: I am explaining to the House—

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: And the Prime Minister will be heard in silence for the duration of her answer.

Ms GILLARD: I am explaining to the House the mechanisms under the carbon pollution legislation, our clean energy future legislation that went through the parliament, and the identification of which sites and businesses will pay a carbon price. When the legislation comes into operation on 1 July, businesses will commence paying that price. There is the ability to measure, as has been shown by past legislation. What should strike the opposition at this point, as they talk about these matters, is that the legislation to first track carbon pollution emissions was introduced by the Howard government. It was described then—and I quote the member for Wentworth when he introduced it—

The SPEAKER: Order! The Prime Minister will be directly relevant.

Ms GILLARD: I am responding to the question in regard to the measuring of carbon emissions and I am referring to the member for Wentworth's statement, on the legislation I have referred to, that, 'This bill is the first major step in establishing the Australian emissions trading scheme'—a time when they believed in carbon pricing; political hypocrisy from them now.

Mr ABBOTT (WarringahLeader of the Opposition) (14:27): Mr Speaker, I ask a supplementary question. I do not wish to embarrass the Prime Minister, but I wish to ask again—

The SPEAKER: Order! The Leader of the Opposition, if he has a supplementary question, should ask it as a supplementary question without preamble.

Mr ABBOTT: Given that the previous question was not answered, I wish to ask, as a supplementary, the same question: where is the list and when will she produce it?

Mr Albanese: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. By the admission of the Leader of the Opposition, that should be ruled out of order, because he himself said it was not a supplementary.

The SPEAKER: The Leader of the House will resume his seat. I call the Prime Minister to answer the supplementary question.

Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (14:27): I have just explained the way in which the carbon pricing legislation will work. I do not want to embarrass the Leader of the Opposition, but when is he going to explain his hypocrisy in going to the 2007 election wanting to put a price on carbon and this conduct now?

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: Order! The Prime Minister will pause. Honourable members on my left have to understand, as do all honourable members, that the office of Prime Minister must be respected, as indeed the office of the Leader of the Opposition. I will not tolerate a crescendo of sound at a level that means the Prime Minister cannot be heard. Has the Prime Minister finished? The Prime Minister has finished.