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Thursday, 21 June 2012
Page: 7502

Carbon Pricing

Ms HALL (ShortlandGovernment Whip) (14:48): My question is to the Minister for Trade and Competitiveness.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms AE Burke ): Order! Will the member for Shortland resume her seat. Would the individuals at the table desist because I cannot hear the member for Shortland over them. The member for Shortland has the call.

Ms HALL: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. My question is to the Minister for Trade and Competitiveness. Will the minister advise the House of Australia's future export prospects and will these prospects be affected by putting a price on carbon?

Dr EMERSON (RankinMinister for Trade and Competitiveness) (14:49): I thank the member for Shortland for her question. I can inform the member for Shortland and the entire House that International Monetary Fund forecasts released in April this year show that Australia's export volumes of goods and services are expected to rise by 7.6 per cent in 2012 and 6.3 per cent in 2013, in the full knowledge of the introduction of a price on carbon. To put this in context, these would be the strongest export growth figures in a dozen years. And these figures contrast with the much slower export growth, of just 2.3 per cent in 2012 and 4.7 per cent in 2013, for all advanced economies.

We have got this doomsday prophecy: it was firstly a cobra strike, and then it was a python. But, of course, the Leader of the Opposition's variant of a python would be a 'noa constrictor'. You get it around your neck—'No, no, no, it's trying to squeeze the life out of the Australian economy!'—the old 'noa constrictor' over there. I saw video footage of the opposition leader diving into foam—it was this bellyflop into foam. I tell you what: after 1 July it will be a much harder landing for you as you try your contortions and your gymnastics, and the world does not end. The doomsday prophecy will not have come true and then you will have to be able to explain why you have undertaken and implemented the world's greatest bellyflop, because that is what is coming your way, brother.

I had a look today as the days just seem to be getting shorter and shorter. And over on that side they say: 'That's 'cause the sky's falling in, the sky's falling in! It's getting shorter and shorter leading up to 1 July.' Well, I can reveal: today is the winter solstice. We know why they are getting shorter. But over there: 'Oh, no, the sky's falling in.' We will have to bring in the Skyhooks—I mean, the opposition leader is living in the seventies:

I'm livin' in the 70s

I've just caught another disease

…   …   …

Got the right day but I got the wrong week,

And I get paid for just bein' a freak.'

That is the Leader of the Opposition.

We are for strong growth. We are for lower interest rates. We are for falling inflation. We are for low unemployment. And I can tell the Leader of the Opposition we have an investment pipeline unsurpassed in Australia's history: a 50-year high in investment as a share of GDP, almost $900 billion in investment. The market is defying the doomsday of the old 'noa constrictor' over here. You won't squeeze the life out of the Australian economy because Labor will prevail over you.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I remind the trade minister that the use of the word 'you' is inappropriate.