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Thursday, 26 June 2014
Page: 7492


Mr JOYCE (New EnglandMinister for Agriculture and Deputy Leader of The Nationals) (10:45): I would like to start by thanking the Labor Party. I would like to thank the Labor Party and the Greens for coming up with such a dopey policy that they ended up in opposition. I would like to thank the Labor Party and the Greens for standing behind that policy in such a way that they churned through their leaders.

I would like to thank the Labor Party for getting themselves into such a position that they got annihilated in an election. I would like to thank the Australian people for realising how stupid the policy was, and I would like to thank the Palmer United Party for realising that we must honour our election commitment and scrap the carbon tax. As I have said before, it was nothing but a big, new, broadbased consumption tax. It was a broadbased consumption tax, based on power, to connect every household to the Australian Taxation Office via something slightly above their skirting board called the power plug. No matter what they did in their lives, in an inelastic form they were going to pay more for it.

Every time someone turned on the electric blanket the carbon tax was in bed with them. When they opened the fridge, a little white light went on to remind them that the carbon tax had been with them all night. When they turned on the kettle the carbon tax was having breakfast with them. When they went to work the carbon tax would go with them, because those opposite still believe that there should be a 6.85c per litre increase in diesel prices. When they turned on a photocopier the carbon tax could replicate itself. When they turned on the light the carbon tax would be in the office with them. It did not matter what they did. If someone tried to fly away from it, they would find that the carbon tax was on aviation fuel. But it would only be on the aviation fuel when they were flying away; if they took another airline it would not be there. It was the most absurd idea.

Those on the other side of the chamber believed that they could single-handedly change the temperature of the globe. How did they go? They might be going all right at the moment; it's been rather cold lately. We have had a bit of snow. Maybe it is working! Or maybe we were just being ripped off. And maybe it is about time that this rip-off is changed.

I was in the chamber the other day when the member for Hunter said those on the other side of the chamber still believed in terminating the tax. He said that. If you go back to the Hansard you can read the comments that were made. So there are still terminators on that side; it is just that they are, sort of, varying.

Now we have a bit of a schism in Nimbin because the Greens are on one side and there are variant views in the Labor Party about where they are. This is the ultimate wedding present for the Labor Party and the Greens. It represents the matrimonial fit of the Labor Party and the Greens. It represents how the right wing of the Labor Party can be stepped on by some of the mad antics that were proposed by the Australian Greens.

Let's look at some of the other ridiculous combinations and permutations of this big new tax—this extra tax system. It was the case that the moment you got to 25,000 tonnes of carbon emissions in an abattoir you triggered a $24 a tonne tax. That means that when you processed that extra beast it would cost in excess of $600,000. Who came up with this stroke of genius? Those on the other side of the chamber did. And they have written books about it. They still stand behind it. The member for Lilley still believes in it. They are all still here, but if they want to stand behind this policy they will stay in opposition. They will stay in opposition because the Australian people will not have the wool pulled over their eyes about this. It is going to be rather interesting today to see whether the Labor Party, the former Treasurer, the member for Grayndler and the Leader of the Opposition forthrightly stand behind this dopey tax that they took to an election and got absolutely annihilated on, or whether they can see the reality.

Apparently, the former Vice President of the United States of America—God bless his cotton socks!—also believes that the policy is dopey. I do not know where your friends are these days. Where are they? Who still believes in this? Maybe the shadow Treasurer still believes in it. We know that some of the members from Western Australia are not very keen on the idea, at all.

It was a great epiphany for the Australian people to realise that now it is quite apparent that the numbers are available to get rid of this ludicrous tax. This tax did nothing to cool the temperature of the globe but did everything to destroy the Labor Party's and the Greens' chances of ever being in government.

Mr Billson: It was a tax on cooling your beer, wasn't it?

Mr JOYCE: As you said, it was a tax on cooling your beer. It was a tax on everything but it delivered nothing but absolute, unmitigated chaos.