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Thursday, 13 August 2009
Page: 7856


Mr DANBY (3:50 PM) —My question is to the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government. How is the government showing leadership in its unprecedented investment in public transport as we move to a low-carbon economy? How has this investment been received and why is a whole-of-government response, including the CPRS, important in providing leadership in climate change?


Mr ALBANESE (Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government) —I thank the member for Melbourne Ports for his question. He certainly understands that the great challenge of climate change requires a whole-of-government response. That is why this government is determined to deliver on just that. That is why we have delivered the largest ever investment in public transport. That is why we have put to the Senate today the legislation supporting the CPRS. But those opposite have today showed their zero unity by the fact that they could not move any amendments whatsoever and that they have no policy when it comes to climate change. They just do not understand the challenge that is before us. That is because, regardless of the Leader of the Opposition’s position on a personal level on climate change, he has had to walk away from that because the dynamic that is leading the opposition is the dynamic of their internal divisions. This is a political coalition that simply cannot move forward. We have seen more discipline in a riot than we see from those opposite when it comes to climate change and these issues.

The fact is that the member for O’Connor has had an enormous victory today. The dinosaurs in the opposition are leading the debate on climate change. Today we have seen the future of the Liberal Party and the answer is Wilson Tuckey. That is what we have seen with the actions of the opposition in the Senate—the dinosaurs completely taking over. Behind the Leader of the Opposition we see the triceratops—the three potential leaders. We have Andrew Robb over there, Robbosaurus rex, the climate sceptic, prepared to oppose, or at least be honest about his position.


Mr Pyne —Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order.

Government members interjecting—


Mr Pyne —I am sure I am not on the list! Mr Speaker, you would be well aware that he should refer to members by their titles.


The SPEAKER —Order! The minister will refer to members by their parliamentary titles.


Mr ALBANESE —The shadow minister, the great sceptic, said, ‘We should be putting more into proving up the science.’ That was his position. Then we have the member for North Sydney, who campaigns in his electorate in favour of action on climate change but does the opposite here. Then we have over there the great sceptic, ‘People Skills’, the member for Warringah, ‘Monkosaurus’, who has said:

The point I made about an emissions trading scheme is that I don’t like it one little bit.

And that was when he was advocating they should vote for it when it comes back. That was the case for voting for it when it comes back. If you had said at the beginning of this term that Unclesaurus at the back there—as he has been described by the shadow Treasurer—would be leading the debate on climate change, people simply would not have believed you. But the fact is that their disunity is having an impact on Australia. That is the great tragedy. It is holding us back from the future. The Turnbull camp are at war with the Costello camp, the Hockey camp are battling it out with the Abbott camp, the Robb camp cannot work out if it is still in the Turnbull camp and, of course, the Bishop camp has been reduced to a single tent without a pole in a very, very far corner.


Mr Rudd —Mr Speaker, I ask that further questions be placed on the Notice Paper.