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Wednesday, 12 October 2011
Page: 7218


Senator JOYCE (QueenslandLeader of The Nationals in the Senate) (16:37): I have had the joy—and that is a cynical way of putting it—of seeing some of this garbage that has been presented to our nation and that, apparently, we are to look at in globo. I would be fascinated to go through some of the details of some of these things because, apparently, we do not need to see them in seriatim—we are right across it. It is all a piece of cake.

This is interesting:

(1)   A person who is or was required to provide a report under section 22E for an eligible financial year must keep records of the person’s activities that:

   (a)   allow the person to report accurately under section 22E; and

   (b)   enable the Regulator to ascertain whether the person has complied with the person’s obligations under section 22E; and

   (c)   comply with the requirements of subsection (2) and the regulations made for the purposes of subsection (3).

The civil penalty is 1,000 penalty units. It further states: 'The person must retain the records for five years from the end of the financial year' and on and on it goes. Look at it: it is like Kafka's Castle. The place we have arrived at is amazing.

What about the EMEP test day? It is defined under section 63B(3) as follows:

In the income year of claim, this day is the day on which the claimant makes the claim for the payment. In subsequent income years, the EMEP test day is the anniversary of the day on which the claimant made the claim in a previous year, provided that, since the claimant made the claim, the Repatriation Commission has not determined that the claimant has ceased to be eligible for the payment. If the Repatriation Commission has determined that the claimant is no longer …

And on and on it goes. Apparently, the government are all across it. They are the absolute full bottle on this. It is all right—straight through. I would love to ask the Prime Minister about some of these details and I would love to ask Minister Combet. They would not have the foggiest idea, apart from what has been sent to them on their BlackBerries. They have the BlackBerry message all worked out, but they would not know about the legislation. You can bet your life that this will be an absolute and utter debacle. But this is what they are doing to our nation.

These are the redesigned plans for the nation of Australia, for our economy. Here they are, set up by the people who could not get fluffy stuff into the ceiling without setting fire to 194 houses and, tragically, killing four people. This redesign of our nation's economy is being undertaken by the same people who gave us the Building the Education Revolution. This redesign of our economy is being undertaken by the same people who conducted a war against obesity. Remember that? We are still wondering: did we achieve detente, did we win, did we lose? Or are we going to have a second war on obesity? This is what the Australian Labor Party has delivered to us via the Australian Greens, because the Greens are now running the show.

Some sections of this legislation could be terminal for them, because they have become so soulless and, once you start being guided by the Greens, you completely isolate yourself from your conservative working-class voters, who will just leave you. Look at all this! It is just absolutely amazing. Now come the nasty bits. I am just opening it up. Under the heading 'Scheme to avoid future liability to pay administrative penalty—Intention', it states:

(1) A person commits an offence if—

and we are seeing a lot of the word 'offence' in this—

a.      a penalty is due and payable by a body corporate or trust under section 212; and

b.      before the penalty became due and payable, the person entered into a scheme; and

c.      the person entered into the scheme with the intention of securing or achieving the result, either … the body corporate or trust:

i.      will be unable; or

ii.      will be likely to be unable; or

iii.   will continue to be unable; or

iv.   will be likely to continue to be unable;

And on and on it goes. Then comes imprisonment for 10 years. This is a nasty little document you have got yourself here, which bangs you up in the can for 10 years, and we are just supposed to look at it in globo because, apparently, you are so over it.

Minister Wong looks totally competent. I would bet you London to a brick that the government have not read the legislation. I bet you London to a brick they have not a clue what is in the legislation. We might want to ask the government questions about who they are going to bang up for 10 years. I think a lot of Australian people would like to know the answer to the question: 'Are the Labor Party about to bring in a piece of legislation which, if I get wrong, I could be in the slammer for 10 years?' Also, ' I want you to more fully disclose to me what is on page 324 of the Clean Energy Bill 2011.'

And the Greens are part of this. They do not believe in transparency. They are sitting there with that stupid smirk on their faces. Their leader 'Dr Brown' thinks this is all fun and games and that this is what you do—you just let these things run through.

Here is another quote with respect to retaining records:

(2)   The person must retain the records for 5 years from the end of the financial year …

(3)   The regulations may specify requirements relating to:

   (a)   the kinds of records; and

   (b)   the form of records—

and how the records must be kept. The penalty is two years imprisonment. This is what we are getting! It is here, Australia; it has arrived. Aren't the Labor Party wonderful people? In a brief perusal of this Kafka's nightmare, I see you get 10 years in prison for one offence, two years in prison for another offence. This is the world the Labor Party live in. This is where we are off to, as they redesign our nation's economy on a colourless, odourless gas. You better not lose any. Do not steal any. What is the price of breathing these days? It must become more expensive. Are we going to keep records on that? I thought this was 2011. It is starting to sound awfully like 1984, with this almost Orwellian type of Big Brother approach to every facet of our lives. The government can increase this tax, without it ever having to go back to this parliament. It does not have to go back to this parliament. They have got around that. We cannot have the nation of Australia and its parliament having oversight of the tax! If they have to launch their attack against the climate, making the world colder from a room in Canberra, they can jack up the tax to rise to the challenge, and in rising to the challenge they make every person in Australia with a power point poorer. Every corner of their house will become a collection mechanism for the Australian Taxation Office. And of course they have to collect some friends along the way, so down the track they will have an emissions trading scheme. That is great, isn't it? The banks will love that: moving paper here, moving paper there. The banks are doing it tough; it is good to see the Greens looking after the big banks and giving them a multibillion dollar revenue stream from trading the permits.

The friends of big banks are the Australian Greens, because they are doing it tough and they need all the help they can get. You are about to do it. You have moralised and got it through your head that it is right to tax someone in a weatherboard and iron house out in the suburbs, that it is right to collect money from them and to funnel it to someone who is probably doing very well thank you very much—and God bless them and good luck to them—and probably does not need that person's money. You are going to funnel that money to Martin Place. We do not need it in Mount Druitt when it can be in Martin Place. We do not need it in Cunnamulla when it can be in Martin Place. We do not need that money up in Bundaberg when it can be in George Street. This is a bonanza. I cannot wait to see who the geniuses are, the luminaries on the other side who will be able to answer some of these questions.

The way they are getting around it is that they are not allowing us to ask any questions. We had the first example of that today with the guillotine: they shall not ask questions on behalf of the Australian people. The job of the opposition in most instances is, naturally enough, to oppose, to see if you are prudent and across the facts. Because you are not, how are you dealing with that? You are launching yourselves into this guillotine. What is so nauseating is that we had to listen to the Leader of the Greens, Dr Bob Brown. He supported the guillotine with that stupid smirk on his face. Here is a quote from that same person:

Let there be no doubt about this: the government can—

Senator Milne: Madam Acting Deputy President, I raise a point of order. I draw your attention to standing order 193, 'Rules of debate':

A senator shall not use offensive words ... all imputations of improper motives and all personal reflections on ... members or officers shall be considered highly disorderly.

In the light of that, I would ask Senator Joyce to desist from making remarks of a personal nature about Senator Bob Brown and withdraw what he already has said.

Senator JOYCE: If he did not smirk, I am happy to. If there is anything that is offensive there I certainly—

Senator Milne interjecting

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( Senator Crossin ): Senator Joyce, I think the point of order is to be mindful of the words that you use during this debate when reflecting on senators in this chamber.

Senator JOYCE: I will quote Senator Dr Bob Brown. These are some of the things he has said in the past:

Let there be no doubt about this: the government can manipulate the Senate and is doing so. The government can dishonour the processes of the Senate and is doing so. The government may try to treat the Senate as it does the House of Representatives—that is, as a rubber stamp—and convert this country to executive government, but the government will reap the whirlwind of that. Fortunately, it cannot do away with elections.

That sounds very prophetic. Who said that? It was Dr Bob Brown on 28 November 2005. This is the same person who is removing our right in this parliament to have proper oversight of these documents, which even on the briefest perusal we can find predom­inantly that you are sending people to jail. For doing what? For mishandling something that was formerly free—that is, carbon dioxide. We now have this colourless, odourless gas becoming not only something that we have to buy but something that, if we do not administer it properly, can end us up in jail.

And why? What is it going to do? What is going to happen to the temperature of the globe? Absolutely nothing will happen to the temperature of the globe, but we will have this bureaucracy and these fields of policeman coming into every corner of our lives. We are supposed to be protecting, giving more liberty to the people and making them more free, not tying them up in this absolute lunacy. Has anybody over there read this? Does anybody have a clue about it? No, you do not have to; you can just walk it in here and ram it through.

What of the Australian people? Are they just happy with it? They are happy that those opposite have thrown a match into the building and walked out the door, that they have thrown a match into the Australian economy and walked out the door? The management that has brought us this bundle, this packet of poo tickets, is the same one that currently has us $211.3 billion in gross debt, borrowing $2 billion last week and $2 billion the week before. They cannot make their ends meet their resources but they can cool the planet.

We have not only a right but an obligation to the Australian people to look at this in seriatim, because I truly believe that if we do not look at it none of them will. Not Mr Combet, who is up there saying, 'This is a great day,' along with all the backslapping. They are all happy chappies, backslapping and saying: 'Isn't this marvellous? Isn't it marvellous what we have done to the Australian people today? Aren't we clever because, even though none of them wanted it, we showed the Australian people that we are so stubborn we would do it to them anyway.' Because, you see, they are wiser than the Australian people. They are wiser and more noble, and that gives them the right to do this to you. And if you do not like what they are doing to you, be careful because in here they have the right to put you in jail. This debate has not finished. The Australian people will demand of us that we fight this all the way. And we will attach this to every lower house member who has voted for it. It is now their problem. They are personally responsible for their actions today; they are personally responsible for bringing this in. And we will attach this to every senator who votes for it. We will attach it to the Greens and we will attach it to the Labor Party. If it brings you unstuck—and it will—that is something that you will have to deal with.

Isn't it funny how the Greens talk about liberty and supporting the liberty of the individual? They want a more liberal environment for drugs, but they do not want a more liberal environment for carbon dioxide—oh, no, they cannot have that; they have to regulate that; they are going to throw people in jail over that. That is the new world. They want a more liberal environment for drugs; they want to reduce all the offences for drugs. But they want to make it a criminal offence to misappropriate the air that we breathe. Then they get some people out on the front lawn. I looked at it the other day. There were more placards than people. And they do not know about it. It is almost a cult. They go out there, or GetUp gets them out there, and they rant and rave and yak on. But they are not going to be held responsible for what happens to people.

I do not know how we can explain this. What possessed you to do this? What possessed you to launch this on us? How many of you people over there understand or can explain to us the trading stock implications of carbon permits? When is it an asset? When is it trading stock? I do not know. You do not know; you do not have a clue. You have not even read it. There is so much in here. What about application to foreign ships? That is another little bit. Let us have a read of this:

This Act does not apply to the extent that its application would be inconsistent with the exercise of rights of foreign ships in:

(a) the territorial sea; or

(b) the exclusive economic zone; or

(c) waters of the continental shelf;

in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

That is interesting. That obviously means that it could apply to Australian ships. Oh, that's right: it does. Australian things are evil! We have to have things from overseas; we cannot have a manufacturing industry anymore! Under this, if you want to fly to Fiji, that will be free of the carbon tax. But if you want to fly and support the Australian tourism industry, you will get taxed for that. And you had better obey the law, otherwise they will throw you in jail. This is the new world. Isn't it marvellous? It even applies to shipping. We know who is getting it free: if you are a foreigner, it is free; if you are domestic, you pay the tax.

Down the track, you get the joy of sending $56.9 billion—$56.9 thousand million—a year overseas to buy carbon credits. That is the ultimate in social engineering: taking money off the working Australian family and then bundling it up and sending it to Mr Mugabe, to the people of Zaire, to the people of the Congo and to the people of South-East Asia. That is what the Greens want to do: social re-engineering. They want to send it to those people who warrant it; those people who are more noble than us! Not only can we re-engineer Australia through a penalty of going to jail; we can re-engineer the whole world! You will have so much to tell them at Durban. It will be a wonderful time. You will be able to say to them that not only are you saving Australia but you are saving the world—saving the world with carbon permits.

But some poor sucker out at Blacktown, out at Ipswich, out at Roma, is going to work to pay for it. They are going to come home to their power bill, and there is your tax. So they work some of their lives in the sun stacking bricks, stacking shelves, behind a counter, shearing sheep, welding or whatever—in whatever industries are left after you have completely and utterly botched our nation's economy—so that you can go on your frolic of sending money here, there and everywhere around the world. This is absurd. Don't you think that there is something not right about this? Isn't there something in your stomach that tells you that there is something not right about this? Where did this come from?

The Australian people hate this. That is why before the last election you did not tell them the truth. You said that you were not going to bring it in. And now you have brought it in. If they had known that you were thinking about banging them up in jail they might have had a different view about voting for you. They might have thought differently. If they had thought that you were about to regulate the very essence of their existence, the air that they breathe, they might have thought about voting for somebody else. Gosh, I would have. But this is where we are.

And you think that we are going to lie down on this and go to sleep. You think that somehow next week it will all be better. We are going to chase you and chase you every day. We will be at the doors every day. We will chase you every weekend. Every time that we get a chance, we will chase you and we will say: 'When you think about the Labor Party, think about the carbon tax; when you think about the Labor Party, think about your power bill; when you think about the Labor Party, think about your fuel bill; when you think about the Labor Party, think about the legislation that they brought in to bang you up in jail if you dare disagree with their world view. When you think about the Greens, think about the money that they sent overseas; when you think about the Greens, think about the guillotine and how they shut down the debate so that the Australian people couldn't properly ventilate their views on this mass of legislation.' That will be the debate. We will pursue you and pursue you, and we will not relent until the next election. Then at every polling booth in every seat we will be reminding the Australian people about you.

If the global economy comes unstuck, you have created it so that you cannot get out of it—apparently, you do not want to get out of this. I have a rough idea how the punter works. I know how they are going to deal with this. I have seen this before. We have made mistakes like this before. We made a mistake called Work Choices and got smashed. This is your mistake. Here it comes: exactly the same outcome. They are going to absolutely slaughter you.