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Wednesday, 30 May 2012
Page: 6281


Ms VAMVAKINOU (Calwell) (14:16): My question is to the Prime Minister. Prime Minister, what are the facts about the effect of the carbon price and the extra assistance that the government has provided through the budget to help families?

Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (14:17): I thank the member for Calwell for the question. I know that she in her electorate is working hard to ensure that people are getting the right information about the assistance that they will receive available through our clean energy future package. I do note too that she was proudly in this parliament to support the schoolkids bonus against the opposition from those members of the Liberal-National Party who thought working families did not deserve a break and should not get any money to assist them with the costs of getting the kids to school.

The member for Calwell asked me about how Australians will experience carbon pricing from 1 July and what assistance is available to help people make ends meet. I do understand that working families struggle to pay the bills, and that is why we have made sure that in creating a carbon pricing scheme we will be giving families around the nation, on average, assistance of $10.10 per week, and that will be more than the impact that they will experience from carbon pricing. Six out of 10 households will receive assistance that fully matches or exceeds these costs. Three point two million pensioners are already seeing advance payments of $250 per single pensioner and $380 for pensioner couples, and then in March they will see more assistance and it will be ongoing. Our economy will also see the benefits of investments in a clean energy future.

From 1 July Australians will be able to experience this, they will be able to live it and they will be able to make up their own minds. That ability to make up their own minds will be a very sharp contrast to the relentlessly negative and destructive fear campaign that has been run by the Leader of the Opposition. They will be able to make up their own minds about his claim that price rises will be unimaginable. They will be able to see whether or not whole towns have been wiped off the map. They will be able to see whether or not their fuel bill or their electricity bill goes up by 30 per cent. And they will be able to see that the mainstays of our manufacturing sector are here and stay strong.

From 1 July, Liberal MPs who have joined the Leader of the Opposition in this negative campaign will then be left to wonder whether their relentless negativity has left them at the point of no return—where they will be given the Leader of the Opposition's systematic misleading of the Australian community, on the coal industry, on the cement industry, on jobs, on the cost of living and on electricity prices. We know from this morning that the Leader of the Opposition can run, but come 1 July he will not be able to hide from these claims being revealed to be wholly untrue.