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Tuesday, 5 July 2011
Page: 7581

Carbon Pricing

Mr ABBOTT (WarringahLeader of the Opposition) (14:24): My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer the Prime Minister to my visit to Iannelli's fruit and vegetable distribution business this morning. I ask the Prime Minister: isn't John Iannelli, the owner of the business, right when he says that a carbon tax on his trucks' diesel fuel will push up the price of fruit and vegetables to all his customers?

Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (14:24): What I have confirmed is that carbon pricing will not apply to petrol that is used by households and by light commercial vehicles, obviously the sort of vehicles that many tradespeople use. Further details about carbon pricing will be available in coming days and to the nation on Sunday. I will be very happy to take any question from Australian families and Australian businĀ­esses on the impact of carbon pricing. But in this debate, whilst the government necessarily can and should be supplying the details, and we will, I believe the Leader of the Opposition should be applying the same standard to himself. For example, he was asked today on radio about his plan to plant trees as the solution to climate change. He could not tell us how many trees. I can probably assist him with the number he would need to plant.

Mr Andrews: Mr Speaker—

Mr Hunt interjecting

The SPEAKER: If it would suit the convenience of the member for Flinders, is it okay for me to give the call to the member for Menzies? I would think that people would show some respect to their own side.

Mr Andrews: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order on direct relevance. This question was clearly about the price of carbon tax on diesel fuel in trucks—nothing else. If the Prime Minister has said that she cannot answer it now then she should stop.

The SPEAKER: The standing order was changed at the start of this parliament so that responses should directly be relevant to the question. It does not mean necessarily that responses are direct responses and I have been tolerant of argument. But I have some great sympathy to the point put by the member for Menzies and I will listen carefully to the response of the Prime Minister.

Ms GILLARD: Thank you, Mr Speaker. As I said, the details will be available on Sunday and maybe on that day the Leader of the Opposition can explain where he is planting a forest five times the size of Tasmania.