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Wednesday, 12 September 2012
Page: 10370

Environment


Ms JULIE BISHOP (CurtinDeputy Leader of the Opposition) (14:09): My question is to the Acting Prime Minister. I remind the Acting Prime Minister that the government backflipped on the carbon tax floor price and Contract for Closure, backflipped on offshore processing, backflipped on live cattle exports, installed and then removed roof batts at a cost of $2.4 billion and, most recently, first encouraged and now wants to ban the Abel Tasman supertrawler. What confidence can Australians have in a government that simply makes it up as it goes along?


Mr SWAN (LilleyDeputy Prime Minister and Treasurer) (14:09): What drives this government, whether it is the pricing of carbon or the declaration of marine parks, is the national interest. That is what drives this government. That is what drove us to respond to the global recession and put in place a stimulus which saved jobs and supported small business in our economy. What drives us when it comes to carbon pricing is our future economic prosperity and the desire to generate power in this country from renewable energy. What drives us when it comes to the supertrawler is making sure that all Australians can have faith that fishing practices are ones which encourage sustainability. I know that all Australians have been concerned about this issue, which is why the government has responded in the way in which we have responded. That is, we have introduced to this House legislation that ensures that the science will drive the decisions, so that our fishing industry is sustainable for the future. That is what we have done. That is what the minister for the environment has done in this House this morning. I am absolutely stunned that those opposite could vote against this very important measure. It shows just how cavalier they are and their disdain for the environment and for sustainability. As someone who comes from the great state of Queensland and as someone who grew up on the coast, I understand how important it is to preserve our fisheries.

Ms Julie Bishop interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms AE Burke ): The Deputy Leader of the Opposition is warned.

Mr SWAN: I understand how important it is that our sons and daughters and grandchildren can have the opportunity to throw a line in and catch a fish. I understand the importance of that—

Mr Laming interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The member for Bowman will leave the chamber under standing order 94(a).

The member for Bowman then left the chamber.

Mr SWAN: but nobody on the other side of this House gets that equation, because they do not believe in protecting the environment. They do not believe in all of the essential protections that we on this side of the House are absolutely committed to. We have put to the House a proposal which is responsible. We have put to this House a proposal which will protect our fish stocks. We have put to this House a proposal which is in the interests of our environment. I would have thought that we would get universal support for it. The fact that those opposite are opposing it shows just how negative they are and the lengths they will go to to trash our environment.