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Wednesday, 30 May 2012
Page: 6284

Carbon Pricing

Ms LIVERMORE (Capricornia) (14:29): My question is to the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and Minister for Industry and Innovation. Will the minister update the House regarding the outlook for the LNG industry under the carbon price? What does this mean for communities, workers and households that rely on the LNG industry and why is it important that these communities get the facts about the effects of the carbon price?

Mr COMBET (CharltonMinister for Industry and Innovation and Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency) (14:29): I thank my colleague the member for Capricornia for her question. As a Queenslander, she has a very keen interest in this issue. We have heard already about the importance of the government's household assistance package to assist people, but it is also important to give careful consideration to the implementation of the carbon price in important industries like the liquefied natural gas industry. The fact is that the LNG industry is experiencing an unprecedented boom and the outlook remains very strong. In its latest report on major resource projects, in fact, the Bureau of Resource and Energy Economics identified seven LNG projects under construction at a value of over $164 billion. In addition, as of last month there were 12 proposed LNG developments undergoing feasibility studies and investors are committing tens of billions of dollars to the LNG industry in the full knowledge of the implementation of the carbon price.

The investment boom in LNG production will flow through to communities with stronger employment growth, increased incomes and improvements in local service and for local families in facilities provided. As an example of that, on 27 April Santos announced that it would invest $200 million into roads, affordable housing and environmental and social projects as part of its Gladstone LNG project. But this must be very hard news for the Leader of the Opposition to hear, it has to be said. He has prophesied:

The carbon tax is a deadly threat to the economy of Gladstone …

That is what he said, and I am glad to see him affirming it. The truth when one looks at these projects is that there is an incredible $56 billion of investment in three LNG projects alone committed and planned in Gladstone. He has predicted the death of Gladstone, that it would collapse as a town and that it would fall off the continent, but there is $56 billion worth of investment in the full knowledge of the carbon price being implemented. The fact of the matter is that there is not just relentless negative comment coming from the Leader of the Opposition; it is relentless deceit. The campaign against the carbon price is a complete fraud. His campaign for the Prime Minister is a complete fraud. (Time expired)