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Tuesday, 18 June 2013
Page: 6067

Carbon Pricing


Mr TRUSS (Wide BayLeader of The Nationals) (14:09): My question is to the Prime Minister. Can the Prime Minister confirm that her carbon tax will rise in less than two weeks to $24.15 per tonne? Why is Australia's carbon tax going up and up while New Zealand's carbon tax is going down and down to an equivalent of just 75c a tonne today?

Honourable members interjecting

The SPEAKER: Order! If you are interested in the answer, we require some silence. The Prime Minister has the call.



Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (14:09): Thank you very much, Speaker. I must thank the Leader of the National Party for his question because it enables me to restate what I said yesterday which is, of course, we want to reduce the amount of carbon pollution in our atmosphere. As I understand it, it is still bipartisan politics to see a five per cent reduction in carbon pollution. So we want to do it in the cheapest possible way. I know that the Leader of the National Party stands behind the Leader of the Opposition for doing it in a more expensive way. He wants the nation to pay more, he wants families to pay more, he wants businesses to pay more.

Now already in question time today we have had the Leader of the Opposition refer to Cameron Clyne, the CEO of the National Australia Bank, and his words on the economy. Well, let me also refer to the words of Cameron Clyne directly on this debate. I suggest that the Leader of the National Party take these words to heart and reflect on his silly question and, more importantly, the ridiculous policy of the opposition on carbon pricing. Mr Clyne says:

If you are asking for an economic assessment of the two the carbon price followed by an ETS is economically superior to the direct action policy.

It will drive certainty, it will drive investment and so as a straight comparison between the two that's the choice.

So having introduced Cameron Clyne as an economic expert into this conversation in question time today, I suggest the Leader of the Opposition—

The SPEAKER: Order! The Manager of Opposition Business has already been warned.

Mr Pyne: Speaker, on a point of order: the Prime Minister was asked to explain why New Zealand's carbon tax is at 75c a tonne and ours is going up to $24.15 a tonne. She made no effort to answer that question.

The SPEAKER: The Manager of Government Business will resume his seat. The Prime Minister has the call.

Ms GILLARD: I was asked about carbon pricing and I am answering. Let me refer again to the words of Cameron Clyne:

It will drive certainty, it will drive investment and so as a straight comparison between the two that's the choice.

What that means is that the Leader of the Opposition stands for less certainty, less investment. He used the word 'gloom' today and gloom is right for his policies, absolutely.