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Thursday, 21 November 2013
Page: 1045

Fishing Industry

Mr HOGAN (Page) (14:18): My question is to the Minister for Agriculture. I remind the minister that today is World Fisheries Day, to recognise and celebrate the sustainability of Australian fisheries. What impact has the carbon tax had on this iconic Australian industry? And how will the government's plans restore the future prospects of Australian fisheries?

Mr JOYCE (New EnglandMinister for Agriculture and Deputy Leader of The Nationals) (14:19): I thank the honourable member for his question. With a seat that includes Ballina and Yamba, he has a very keen understanding of the importance of the fishing industry.

It is also important because one of the inflictions on that industry has come about by the Labor Party, in their desire to single-handedly cool the planet with a tax. We all know that if Labor taxes cooled the planet the place would be an icebox, but it is quite clear that the Labor Party had decided that they would inflict this on fishermen.

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: Too much noise on my left!

Mr JOYCE: Madam Speaker, do you know that when fishermen come to port to buy refrigerant gases—refrigerant gases such as 507A refrigerant gas—that the cost of this gas has gone up by up to $100 a kilogram?

Mr Stephen Jones: Coming the raw prawn!

The SPEAKER: The member for Throsby will desist!

Mr JOYCE: What this means is that this is a $10,000 hit to the budget for coming home to port. Kevin Hogan, the member for Page, understands this all too well. Not only that, he understands that once they get home and once they get the produce—Australian fish to be fed to Australian people—that they are using Australian power to try and make sure that they keep the fish cold, and that is also taxed by the Australian Labor Party. They believe that there is something evil about the coal that keeps Australian families warm and Australian fish cold.

But they have a way to make the power that keeps fish cold righteous. What you do is get the coal, and if it passes over water and goes to another country to look after—

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: There is too much noise on my left. The member for Throsby will desist!

Mr JOYCE: the power that comes from that other country then becomes righteous. But if you look after the power requirements in our nation, well, it is very evil.

And they had the opportunity today—the government-change deniers on the other side—to work for the working man and woman to reduce the cost of living, but they chose not to. They chose not to, because they are still being run by the Australian Greens. They are still being run by the Australian Greens, and we know that it is a coalition—it is a Labor-Green coalition, and it is—

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: There is too much noise on—

Mr JOYCE: We've got their attention! We've got their attention!

The SPEAKER: The minister will resume his seat. The members on my left will lower the tone of interjections and hear what the minister has to say.

Mr JOYCE: Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. I like the fact that in this chamber I seem to excite Labor and the Greens like I did in the other chamber. It is great to see that we have got one side standing up for the working families and the other standing up for the Australian Greens, standing up for their mates in the corner there, making sure we keep people poorer. That is your goal: keep people poorer. I look forward to them explaining to their electorates why it is evil to turn on a light in Bankstown, why it is evil to keep the fish cold, why it is evil to look after the Australian working families' requirements.