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Carbon Price and Gladstone

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Carbon Price and Gladstone Interview APC050/2012 18 September 2012

Kirsten Livermore (Member for Capricornia): My question is to the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport representing the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency. Will the minister update the House on the facts since the introduction of the carbon price on 1 July? Why is it important that the government and the community rely on these facts instead of the scare campaign we saw in the lead-up to 1 July?

Anthony Albanese: I thank the Member for Capricornia for her very good question. Indeed, the scare campaign about a Carbon Price has hit a brick wall since 1 July. It has hit a brick wall as the reality has triumphed over the rhetoric. Prior to 1 July we were told that the sky was going to fall in and that towns like Whyalla were going to be wiped off the map. I can inform the House, including the Member for Rankin [Craig Emerson], that last Friday I flew over Whyalla on the way to Port Augusta and it is still there. There is no crater in the ground. It is still there.

Of course, there was also Gladstone. In Gladstone on 11 March the Leader of the Opposition [Tony Abbott] stood next to the Member for Flynn [Ken O'Dowd] and said that the price on carbon would, and I quote: “turn places like this into a ghost town”. That is what we were told about Gladstone. Whyalla would be wiped off the map, and Gladstone would be turned into a

“ghost town”.

Let's have a look at the reality post-1 July. Pre-1 July: chaos; post-1 July: reality.

Last week Qantas announced—and remember regional airlines were gone after 1 July—that they will begin direct services from Sydney to Gladstone from next year, from 2013. There will be 1,200 people flying between Gladstone and Sydney every single week. It would be pretty odd behaviour to fly into a “ghost town”, but that is what they will be doing.

What did the Member for Flynn, who stood with the Leader of the Opposition at the about-to-become ghost town prior to 1 July, have to say about this announcement? On 13 September he welcomed it. He said:

“It was a big vote of confidence for our community.”

So, prior to 1 July it is going to be a “ghost town” but after 1 July there is a big vote of confidence for the community. Far from being a “ghost town”, Gladstone is an economic power house which will continue to contribute to our economy. There is $56 billion of investment in LNG projects alone, committed and planned.

But the Leader of the Opposition will not let the facts get in his way. He, of course, is the person who went to the RSPCA and said that the puppies and kittens were in danger as well. That was my favourite part of the scare campaign.

Well, the chickens are coming home to roost as it comes down to the reality of the Carbon Price as oppose to the ridiculous rhetoric from those opposite.


Question without Notice—Parliament House

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