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Wednesday, 15 May 2013
Page: 3274


Mr HUNT (Flinders) (14:48): My question is to the Treasurer. I refer the Treasurer to the 2015-16 and 2016-17 carbon price projections of $12.10 and $18.60 compared with the June 2016 forward price for European permits of A$5.57. How can the government carbon tax projections in the budget be believed over the next four years when the government's carbon tax projections over the last 10 months were overstated by 500 per cent? (Time expired)

Mr SWAN (LilleyDeputy Prime Minister and Treasurer) (14:49): This is part of a continuing campaign by those opposite to cast slurs on the Treasury, particularly to cast slurs on the Treasury because they have believed in a market price for carbon. The member knows only too well that the European carbon price has hit historic lows, and that is a fact and it has happened for a variety of reasons in Europe. Of course, that is now reflected in the floating price that has been projected by us when we come out of the fixed price period. But for him to somehow suggest that this is a slur on the forecasters, when in fact a market is operating like a market, just says so much about the modern Liberal Party. They do not understand markets either and it is no wonder they have got some form of direct action policy so that they are going to charge every Australian family $1,200, a new form of central planning and central intervention masquerading as policy from those opposite. So we do not apologise for a second for having a market based price and reducing carbon pollution in our society—and I said so in my speech last night. We will continue and proceed with our carbon-pricing regime because it is driving investment in alternative energy, particularly renewable energy, and it is giving us a clean energy future—and the contrast here with those opposite is quite stark.

Mr Hunt: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker, on relevance. The question to the Treasurer was: how can the government's figures be believed when they were overstated by 500 per cent over the last 10 months?

The SPEAKER: The member for Flinders will resume his seat. The Treasurer has concluded his answer.