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Monday, 9 December 2013
Page: 1928

Carbon Pricing

Mr TEHAN (Wannon) (14:20): My question is to the Treasurer. I refer the Treasurer to the statement of Origin Energy's managing director, Grant King, recently that the carbon tax is a 'dead weight' on the economy and, if not repealed by June 30, will mean additional costs to businesses and households. What impact will the abolition of the carbon tax have on the cost of producing energy? How will this reduce cost pressures for business and create jobs for the nation?

Mr HOCKEY (North SydneyThe Treasurer) (14:20): It is a terrific question from the—

Opposition members interjecting

Mr HOCKEY: He wrote it! It is a terrific question from the unforgettable member for Wannon; thank you. He cares about our economy and he recognises that, if we actually abolish the carbon tax, we will strengthen the Australian economy—because the previous government's own economic modelling showed that the carbon tax would increase inflation by 0.7 per cent in this year; it would reduce GNI, gross national income, by 0.8 per cent; and, after 10 years, the level of real wages would be 1.1 per cent lower across the country. It is a pretty significant impact.

Just about every business leader in Australia and a few around the world have said, 'This is just bad policy,' whether it be David Murray, the former head of the Future Fund; Jeanne Pratt, the head of Visy, who just opened a shiny new factory in China—very impressive; or Don Argus, former BHP boss. Andrew Liveris of Dow Chemicals—and he is on President Obama's manufacturing council, not necessarily something that is closely aligned with us—said:

A carbon price in isolation in the absence of an energy policy is nonsense.

Also there were John Hannagan from Rusal Australia; John Pegler from the Australian Coal Association; David Peever from Rio Tinto; Marius Kloppers, former head of BHP; Geoff Plummer, Chief Executive, OneSteel, who heavily criticised the carbon tax; the Business Council; David Byers from APIA; Stephen Cartwright from New South Wales Business Chamber; and, Christophe de Margerie, Chairman and Chief Executive, Total, who said:

The message is that climate change, which is a problem, which is a concern to all of us, cannot be solved by one or two countries even if they are huge countries. Just for Australia trying to sort it out is for me a little bit strange.

And it went on. The Labor Party said they were going to terminate it. Remember that? Before the election, they were going to terminate the carbon tax. Where have I heard that term 'terminate' before? I thought of Arnie. I did not realise that there had been five films in the Terminator series:No. 1 The Terminator, No. 2 Terminator: Judgment Day, No. 3 Terminator: Rise of the Machines, No. 4 Terminator Salvation and No. 5 'Terminator, the carbon taxbackflip'.