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Thursday, 21 June 2012
Page: 7503

Carbon Pricing

Mr PYNE (SturtManager of Opposition Business) (14:52): My question is to the Acting Prime Minister. I remind the Acting Prime Minister that he has asked the Australian public this week to dismiss the findings with respect to the carbon tax from cane growers, GROCOM, TRUenergy, IPART, the ACT price regulator and even his own modelling in his answer to the last question. Does he seriously expect the Australian people to believe him rather than these organisations, when he described claims that he would introduce a carbon tax as 'hysterical' and then promptly did so within weeks of the election?

Mr SWAN (LilleyDeputy Prime Minister and Treasurer) (14:53): I thank the shadow minister for his question. We on this side of the House are proudly introducing a carbon price.

Opposition members interjecting

Mr SWAN: We are doing it for all the right reasons.

Opposition members interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Order! The member for Cook is warned!

Mr SWAN: I am also very proud that we have had a long-held policy of pricing carbon on this side of the House. Those on the other side of the House once had a policy of pricing carbon, until they got rid of the member for Wentworth and installed the new opposition leader. They had a belief. Former Prime Minister Howard and former Treasurer Costello had a belief in an emissions trading scheme, so there is nothing particularly controversial about that.

Opposition members interjecting

Mrs Bronwyn Bishop: Madam Deputy Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I refer you to page 553 of the Practiceand standing order 104.

Mr Danby interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! The member for Melbourne Ports! Member for Mackellar has the call.

Mrs BRONWYN BISHOP: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. I again refer to standing order 104. I know that the Acting Prime Minister is doing the very best he possibly can within his competency but he must maintain a link to the substance of the question.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: It was a wide-ranging question which allows for a wide-ranging answer. The Acting Prime Minister has the call.

Mr SWAN: We have a price on carbon, which has the broad support of a whole range of industry organisations, and the broad support of the International Monetary Fund, the OECD and the World Bank. And of course any responsible industry organisation in this country understands that we need to price carbon. Peter Voser from Shell has said so very clearly today. Most of the big international companies operating in this country already have a price on carbon factored into their business plans. So the weight of evidence is behind a price on carbon. The weight of evidence globally and nationally is behind it.

But I will tell you what we are seeing here. We are seeing here a failure of leadership from that side of the House. We are facing up to the big challenges of the 21st century—growing our economy, being environmentally responsible, making sure that what grows here is sustainable for future generations, for our children and our grandchildren, and doing it in a way which is economically responsible and economically rational. If you look at the report from the Productivity Commission, you will see they have endorsed the way in which we are putting a price on carbon. If you look at the modelling from the Treasury, it shows that the economy will continue to grow, that wealth will continue to be created.

Mr Abbott interjecting

Mr SWAN: We know that if we drive the investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency, we will be much more prosperous.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! The Leader of the Opposition does not have the call.

Mr SWAN: But those opposite want to take the low road—they want to play politics.

Mr Abbott interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! The Leader of the Opposition does not have the ability to interject constantly on any speaker, and, if he thinks that being the Leader of the Opposition gives him extra cover, he may find that that is not right.

Mr SWAN: It is a very low road. Modern Australia was not made by the sort of political approaches we are seeing from that side of the House—the gutless, irresponsible approach of those on the other side of the House.

Opposition members interjecting

Mr Pyne interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! The Acting Prime Minister will resume his seat. There has already been a point of order on relevance. The Manager of Opposition Business will resume his seat. I did not hear the comment. You may have all heard it, but you are all screaming so it makes it very difficult for the chair to hear it, and on that basis I am not actually going to ask the Acting Prime Minister to withdraw. You may come to realise that allowing me to hear things might help. The Manager of Opposition Business has the call.

Mr Pyne: Madam Deputy Speaker, you upbraided the Leader of the Opposition moments ago, who was responding to the provocation from the Acting Prime Minister—

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! The Manager of Opposition Business will resume his seat. There is no action to be taken. The point I have made to the Leader of the Opposition is that the standing orders apply to him as they do to everybody else.

Mr Randall interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, the member for Canning is warned! The Acting Prime Minister, to assist the chamber will withdraw and we will try to continue.

Mr SWAN: I withdraw, Deputy Speaker, but I make this point: every single time the Leader of the Opposition looks down the barrel of a camera and talks about the carbon price—

Mrs Gash interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! The member for Gilmore should talk about everybody on her side who points!

Mr SWAN: he is misleading the Australian people. That is very clear. That is his choice and that is the choice the Liberal Party has made. But we on this side of the House will defend the national interest and we will do it with vigour. (Time expired)

Mr John Cobb interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! The member for Calare can leave the chamber under the provisions of standing order 94(a).

The member for Calare then left the chamber.