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Tuesday, 11 September 2012
Page: 10189

Carbon Pricing

Mr HUNT (Flinders) (14:55): My question is to the Acting Prime Minister. I refer to the failed $2 billion Contract for Closure scheme to close brown coal power stations and to the $5½ billion Energy Security Fund to keep open brown coal power stations. Is it the government's policy to close or keep open brown coal power stations in Victoria and South Australia?

Mr SWAN (LilleyDeputy Prime Minister and Treasurer) (14:56): Once again, we have this incredible hypocrisy from those opposite.

Mr Tony Smith interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms AE Burke ): The member for Casey is warned!

Mr SWAN: These are the people who went out and said that carbon pricing would mean death for the Latrobe Valley—an incredibly irresponsible statement which shows just how far they will go and how desperate they will be to spread fear. Now they are saying that, somehow, because we did not proceed with the Contract for Closure we are wrong as well. We did not proceed with the Contract for Closure because we did not think it represented good value for money. That is why we did not proceed with it. But we do have in place our carbon price and we have our caps. We will meet our targets and we will do that in the least cost way.

Mr Hunt: Madam Deputy Speaker, a point of order on relevance. The question was: is it the policy to open or close brown coal power stations?

Mr Robb interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The member for Goldstein is going to be tossed very quickly, if he is not careful.

Mr SWAN: The shadow minister is another one who has changed his position. Having written his thesis on a market price for carbon, he now comes in and says we should have one because we did not proceed with one or two other measures. Is that what he is saying now? This is further evidence that they will keep a carbon price.