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Tuesday, 11 October 2011
Page: 11429

Mr TEHAN (Wannon) (16:43): I stand here today absolutely outraged. I have to speak on 1,200 pages of legislation and I have been allowed five minutes to do so: five minutes on legislation which is going to have a detrimental impact on serious industries in my electorate. It is an absolute disgrace: five minutes for 1,200 pages. That is all this government will give me to speak on this legislation. The clock might be showing 15 minutes, but if I speak for longer than five then other people on this side of the House will miss out on speaking on this legislation. It is a disgrace. This is a deceitful piece of legislation which strikes at the heart of Australia's international competitiveness. The other side stands condemned for putting through this bill. Climate change is a global problem. It deserves a global solution. It does not require a solution that will send jobs and industries overseas, yet that is exactly what this carbon tax will do. It will not only do that. After we have sent their jobs and industries offshore, we will then buy the carbon permits from the countries that have benefited from this exporting of jobs and industries. They will benefit handsomely—by $3.5 billion in 2020 and by $57 billion by 2050. So we export the jobs and the industries with this carbon tax and then we export taxpayers' money. It is an absolute disgrace.

I go to three key points that need to be made about this legislation. Climate change is a global problem that needs a global solution. What have the government done to try and get that global solution? They are absolutely asleep at the wheel. What have they done to try and get some sort of consensus in South Africa at the end of this year? Nothing. What type of coalition or consensus have they built to try and get action in South Africa? Nothing. What is our No. 1 foreign policy objective at the moment? Trying to get a seat on the UN Security Council. The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Rudd, is leading this charge even though he said that this is one of the greatest moral dilemmas of our time. Why is he not putting the same effort and energy into trying to get an outcome in South Africa to protect Australia's international competitiveness? This is an absolute disgrace.

What will it mean for my electorate of Wannon? What will it mean for the agricultural sector in my electorate? For the dairy industry, a $5,000 to $7,000 hit per dairy farm. For the meat industry, an extra cost of 24c to 37c per carcass that goes through an abattoir? What will it mean for grain? Approximately $36,000 will be put on each and every grain farmer. It is an absolute disgrace. What about the 358 local manufacturers? How can they deal with this? These are small manufacturing businesses that compete internationally. What can they do when they get hit with this? They cannot pass the costs on; they have to absorb them. It is hard enough for them at the moment without having an additional cost imposed.

The No. 1 issue in my electorate is the state of the roads. The last federal budget gave not one extra dollar for roads, yet we are putting a five per cent cost on road construction across my electorate and the federal government is doing nothing to compensate local government or state government. This is a disgraceful piece of legislation which is built on deceit.

What is it going to mean in paperwork for those small businesses? What will they have to do with these 1,200 pieces of paper. It will add red tape to every one of those businesses. Businesses have already seen a sixfold increase in paperwork and red tape. This is just going to make it worse.

I will have more to say on this this evening, as I only have five minutes now so that the member for Higgins has a chance to say something. It is a disgrace, but this is not the last you have heard from me on this issue.