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Wednesday, 30 May 2012
Page: 6280

Carbon Pricing

Mr TRUSS (Wide BayLeader of The Nationals) (14:12): My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer the Prime Minister to Mr Craig Glasby, the owner of an independent service station at Empire Bay in Robertson, whose latest tender from TRUenergy includes a carbon tax component of $13,141, a surcharge of just under 18 per cent on his annual bill. How can the Prime Minister continue to claim that the carbon tax will push up electricity by just 10 per cent?

Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (14:12): To the Leader of the National Party I would say the following: the regulators for electricity prices in major states around the nation have already spoken. They have already spoken about the impact of carbon pricing, and when they have spoken about the impact of carbon pricing they have said that its contribution to increased electricity prices will be the same as the Treasury modelling at 10 per cent, or indeed less than the Treasury modelling. Now the Leader of the National Party shakes his head, but you cannot shake your head and wish away a fact. That is what has been said in New South Wales. That is what has been said in Queensland. In Western Australia the amount was actually less. Let us remember: not only have these determinations by the electricity price regulators backed in the Treasury modelling, but what they mean is that what the government has been saying to Australian families and pensioners about assistance is absolutely right. People will see assistance coming into their family budgets—3.2 million pensioners—and millions of them will be better off. Families on average will see assistance of $10.10 and will experience price changes of less than that.

On the specific example that the Leader of the National Party has raised, I am more than happy to take a look at it, but what I would say is this: my experience in this parliament time after time, day after day, is that things are brought into this parliament by the opposition and represented as if they were true, and on further inquiry they are found out to be completely false and just another part of the fear campaign coming from this Leader of the Opposition. Let's remember where this fear campaign has got itself to. It has got itself to a point where Liberal-National Party members are now anxious about the relentless negativity of the Leader of the Opposition and his overblown, false claims.

Mr Truss: Madam Deputy Speaker, I rise on a point of order on relevance. Clearly, the comments by the Prime Minister have no bearing on the question.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms AE Burke ): The Prime Minister will return to the question before the chair.

Ms GILLARD: Thank you very much, Madam Deputy Speaker. I think it is relevant in assessing claims by the opposition that we have heard so many false ones: the end of the coal industry, astronomical price increases, electricity going up by 30 per cent and on and on it has gone. These relentlessly negative claims, these destructive claims, will be shown to be untrue following 1 July, and then the issue for the Leader of the Opposition will be that he might be able to run but he will not be able to hide after 1 July.

To the Leader of the National Party, if he chooses to forward that information to my office I will have a look at it.

Mr Truss: Madam Deputy Speaker, I offer to table the document. It demonstrates clearly that there is an 18 per cent increase.

Mr Hockey: You just asked for it!

Honourable members interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! The Leader of the Nationals will resume his seat! The member for Goldstein and the member for North Sydney will remove themselves from the chamber under standing order 94(a). I was on my feet.

The members for Goldstein and North Sydney then left the chamber.