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Monday, 31 October 2011
Page: 7602


Senator PRATT (Western Australia) (17:40): Before my speech on the Clean Energy Bill 2011 and the related bills was interrupted by question time, I was noting the fact that we will have to live with the inevitable impacts of climate change in this country and indeed globally. The window for action that would have prevented these impacts has, sadly, closed. But we must act now to prevent catastrophe. I say to those opposite: if you accept that climate change is real and that human activity is causing it, then we must act now. If we do not act now, the consequences for our environment, our economy and our way of life will be very severe. The reality is that everyone bar climate change deniers in this chamber and indeed in this parliament know that passing this legislation is the right thing to do. As Mr Malcolm Turnbull has said:

You won’t find an economist anywhere that will tell you anything other than that the most efficient and effective way to cut emissions is by putting a price on carbon.

Coalition member after coalition member is on record supporting a price on carbon. If you accept the science, which is that our carbon emissions contribute to climate change and that the most efficient way of cutting emissions is by pricing carbon, then you should support this legislation. To not do so condemns you to being on the wrong side of this debate.

In this chamber we have witnessed, day after day, the attempts by those opposite to find grounds on which to oppose this legislation. It has been a struggle for those opposite and a struggle for us to watch. At the end of the day, it comes down to the political capital that those opposite have sought from scaremongering rather than from doing the right thing by the planet, by the economy and by all Australians. There is still time for those opposite to do the right thing and vote for this legislation. I commend the bills to the Senate.