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Tuesday, 19 June 2012
Page: 6992

Carbon Pricing


Mr MURPHY (Reid) (14:59): Her venomous and festering tongue!

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms AE Burke ): The member for Reid will withdraw and start his question again.

Mr MURPHY: I withdraw. My question is to the Assistant Treasurer and Minister Assisting for Deregulation. Minister, how is the government delivering a price on carbon while assisting families and seniors and making sure they have the protections they need against unfair price rises?




Mr BRADBURY (LindsayAssistant Treasurer and Minister Assisting for Deregulation) (15:00): I thank the member for Reid for his question. Of course he knows that the carbon price will cut greenhouse gas emissions to assist us in making our contribution towards tackling climate change. Of course it will also drive investment in clean energy so that we can build a stronger economy for the future. We expect that the carbon price will have an impact on prices on average of around 0.7 per cent, or less than one per cent. Of course that is about a third of the impact that the GST had on prices when it was introduced. Power prices are expected to go up by around $3.30 per week on average, but because we are a Labor government we are determined to implement this reform in a way that is consistent with our values, and that is why we have provided a comprehensive household assistance package.

For instance, the member would be interested to know that in the Reid electorate we are providing relief to more than 10,000 families and 18,000 pensioners, and we are delivering tax cuts to 53,000 taxpayers earning up to $80,000. We have provided the ACCC with $12.8 million to protect households from businesses that jack up the prices and falsely blame the carbon price for those price increases. But of course we note that many Australians have been doing a fair bit for some time to try to cut their power expenditure and reduce their emissions. But now, of course, it is good to see public campaigns such as One Big Switch that are empowering Australians to get a better deal out of electricity retailers. We know that the best thing for consumers is to have the power to take their business elsewhere to get a better deal.

While we are delivering assistance to households and consumers are out there trying to do their bit, those opposite are trying to do their best to do harm. Under the Liberal government in New South Wales, in the short time that they have been in power we have seen electricity prices rise by 17 per cent in the past year. What have we seen in Western Australia? In Western Australia we have seen electricity prices increase by 57 per cent since the Barnett government came to power. You cannot blame carbon pricing for those increases, and these were increases that were inflicted upon the Australian people without a comprehensive assistance package.

We know that the Leader of the Opposition has said that, if he gets elected, he will rip away the assistance that we are providing to households. He will rip it away. But the Premier of New South Wales is not waiting till the next election, because he already has his hand in the pockets of the most vulnerable people in New South Wales, ripping away their assistance by jacking up public housing rents. I think we all know the Leader of the Opposition has made an art form out of his relentless negativity, but if he were fair dinkum about price rises then he would pick up the phone, call Premier O'Farrell and say no to these increases.

Mr Abbott: In response to the minister's answer, I seek leave to table the government's modelling document showing that emissions will increase un der the government's carbon tax—a 43-million-tonne increase.

Leave not granted.