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Hockey on carbon tax -

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Joe Hockey tells the 7.30 Report there are no divisions within the Coalition over Labor's carbon
tax after another fiery day in Federal Parliament.

Transcript

HEATHER EWART, PRESENTER: Joe Hockey, thanks for joining us

JOE HOCKEY, SHADOW TREASURER: Thanks, Heather.

HEATHER EWART: In 2009 you did effectively support a price on carbon under Malcolm Turnbull's
leadership when the Rudd Government was trying to get its emissions reduction legislation through
the Senate. You don't deny that, do you?

JOE HOCKEY: No, I don't, and what changed was Copenhagen. The world did not come to the agreement
that Kevin Rudd said it would.

HEATHER EWART: The point here is if you can change your mind with changed political circumstances,
why can't the Prime Minister?

JOE HOCKEY: Well because Julia Gillard before the last election, just a few months ago, not only
sought a mandate not to introduce a carbon tax, she said that it would be around 2012 before the
matter on climate change was resolved. Just a few months later, without any consultation with the
community, Julia Gillard has announced a carbon tax. She misled the Australian people deliberately
and now she's asking the Australian people to trust her on compensation going forward.

HEATHER EWART: We've heard this for the last two days in the Federal Parliament, but if Julia
Gillard has indeed broken an election promise, she's hardly the first or the last politician to do
that, is she, including on your own side?

JOE HOCKEY: Well, it was an emphatic statement to the Australian people. I think ...

HEATHER EWART: There have been many emphatic statements by politicians in the past on these
matters?

JOE HOCKEY: Look, Heather, we can debate the politics of it. The fundamental point is the
Australian people were shocked at the announcement. It came on the back on what has been a torrid
few months for our nation, for our friends in New Zealand. The Prime Minister announced out of the
blue after pledging to consult widely prior to any announcements, just came out of the blue that
she was going to introduce a carbon tax. She didn't outline how she was going to do it, didn't say
anything about compensation. And Australian families - Heather, you gotta understand, the reason
why the Coalition fought against the interest rate changes by the banks was because people are
hurting. The reason why we fought against the flood levy is because people are hurting. And now on
top of all of this, all the other price pressures Australians are facing, now we have a government
that has out of the blue announced an industry-wide, nationwide carbon tax.

HEATHER EWART: You're bandying about all these figures that there will be major electricity and
fuel price rises. There is in fact no detail that goes with this policy statement yet, so you're
jumping the gun here, aren't you?

JOE HOCKEY: Well, the Government's announced a new tax. It just hasn't told Australians ...

HEATHER EWART: But are you whipping up a scare campaign because it's easy at the moment - there
isn't the detail to adequately address what you're arguing?

JOE HOCKEY: Well, that is our point: that the Government has announced a tax, it won't tell
Australians how much the tax is going to be, how much they're going to be compensated. It is
creating great dislocation amongst the Australian people. And I've seen lots of commentary today
about the passions in Parliament. Those passions are out in the community. Today I met a lady who
had worked for 13 years as a welder at BHP. She was angry about this. I met a woman running a fruit
shop who was really angry about this.

HEATHER EWART: But are they angry because you are deliberately whipping up a scare campaign without
having the evidence yet of whether that's going to be the real impact or not?

JOE HOCKEY: Well, our figures are based on the last Treasury modelling.

HEATHER EWART: But that's old modelling; there's been no new modelling down for this new plan.

JOE HOCKEY: Well, $26 a tonne, based on carbon emissions that are meant to be reduced, five per
cent by 2020.

HEATHER EWART: But you don't know that's the new modelling that will be used for this new plan, do
you?

JOE HOCKEY: Well, what you do know is at $26 a tonne, petrol will go up 6.5 cents a litre;
Electricity across Australia will go up $300 a year. Even in New South Wales now, where Kristina
Keneally the Labor Premier said, "I'll give New South Welshmen a rebate of $250 on electricity."
They don't dispute that electricity'll go up $500 a year for householders in NSW.

HEATHER EWART: With respect, there is no evidence yet that that is what's going to happen.

JOE HOCKEY: I'm sorry ...

HEATHER EWART: Do you run the risk of here ...

JOE HOCKEY: Hang on, Heather. The Greens rejected the last attempt by the Labor Party, an emissions
trading scheme based on $25 a tonne. Now that there is this deal between the Greens and the Labor
Party, I can assure you it'll be at least $25 a tonne and the numbers we are using are
conservative, conservative. So the impact is very real.

HEATHER EWART: In taking this approach, do you run the risk of the public becoming fed up with this
he said, she said argument, this ongoing slanging match that doesn't really appear to be going
anywhere?

JOE HOCKEY: Well the passions in the Parliament reflect the passions in the community, and the
community is shocked at what the Gillard Government has done. They are really shocked - they are
genuinely stunned and they're angry because it's come out of the blue. It's come out of the blue
and it's hitting people between the (audio problems) when they are feeling the pressures.

HEATHER EWART: Is the business community equally shocked that you would say that if you got into
government you would immediately repeal this legislation, which then leads to incredible
uncertainty for the business community, your core constituency.

JOE HOCKEY: Well hang on. Wayne Swan promised and Julia Gillard promised before the last election
that they would want to build a consensus in the community, including the business community. Now
so far, BlueScope Steel, Toll Holdings, the biggest logistics operator in the country, plus AIG,
the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry have all come out and said, "What the hell is going
on? Are you crazy?" They've said that, they've asked that question of the Government: why did the
Government pull this out of the blue when people are struggling and business is just getting back
on its feet?

HEATHER EWART: Former Liberal Leader Malcolm Turnbull said on the ABC's Q&A program last night that
he still supported a market-based mechanism to price carbon. He also raised some doubts about
whether the Liberals' policy may lead to some risk in terms of waste. Now you're hardly a united
team yourselves on this, are you? Despite what you're saying in the Parliament.

JOE HOCKEY: We are totally united. We are standing up for families.

HEATHER EWART: What is united about that position?

JOE HOCKEY: Well, I'll tell you what's united about that position. Malcolm Turnbull is supporting
our position in opposing Julia Gillard's carbon tax. Our view is this is exactly the wrong thing
for Australia and it's exactly the wrong thing for Australian households, and it is - because it is
a shock, it is going to have a profound effect on the community, and what's worse is, how can
anyone trust the Prime Minister of our nation and the Treasurer when they emphatically say they
will not do something and then a few months later they're asking people to trust them at their word
again on compensation.

HEATHER EWART: Joe Hockey, we'll have to leave it there, but thanks for your time tonight

JOE HOCKEY: Thanks very much, Heather.