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Tuesday, 5 July 2011
Page: 7584

Carbon Pricing

Mrs MOYLAN (Pearce) (14:34): My question is to the Treasurer. I refer the Treasurer to the work of the landscape gardener who drives to work in a diesel powered ute and uses a heavy backhoe for larger earthworks, a bobcat for small earthworks, a chainsaw for pruning trees and various other small petrol powered machines such as lawnmowers. Which parts of the landscaper's business will be subject to the carbon tax on fuel and which parts will be exempt?

Mr SWAN (LilleyDeputy Prime Minister and Treasurer) (14:35): Mr Speaker—

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: The Treasurer will resume his seat. Again, it is not for me to make a critique about the questions. But for those who claim that it was a good question I would have thought that they would sit there quietly to listen to the response. The Treasurer has the call.

Mr Dutton: Suck that water down, Swanny!

The SPEAKER: The member for Dickson! The Treasurer has the call.

Mr Dutton: He is very nervous.

The SPEAKER: The member for Dickson is warned. The Treasurer has the call.

Mr SWAN: The government made it very clear last night that on Sunday we will be announcing all of the details of our plans to reduce carbon pollution. We have already said that all fuel—including petrol, diesel and LPG—for passenger motor vehicles and light commercial vehicles will not be subject to a carbon price. We also said in this House yesterday that we will be providing further detail, and that further detail will be coming on Sunday. They can ask all of the questions they like, but the further detail will be there on Sunday.

We have always acknowledged that by putting a price on the carbon pollution of up to 1,000 of our largest polluters there will be a modest impact on prices. That is why we have said we are providing additional assistance to households and to industry, particularly industry that is energy intensive and trade exposed. All of the detail will be out there for people to see on Sunday. I have said before that this is a very big and very serious reform and it should be treated in the same way as other very big and serious reforms in the past.

Mr ABBOTT (WarringahLeader of the Opposition) (14:37): Mr Speaker, a point of order on direct relevance: the question was not about the so-called thousand biggest polluters, it was about this landscape gardener and the fuel that this landscape gardener uses, and if the Treasurer cannot answer that question he should simply sit down.

The SPEAKER: The Treasurer will respond in a directly relevant manner to the question.

Mr SWAN (LilleyDeputy Prime Minister and Treasurer) (14:37): I was making the point that in the past, when very big and serious reforms have been put forward in this country, they have been the subject of similar scare campaigns that are now being run by those opposite, and we will get a diet of them right through question time today and tomorrow. All of the detail will be out there on Sunday, and I have to say that very clearly to them. But nobody seriously questions those reforms today, and I would suggest that in 25 years time we will look back and question why anybody questioned the science of climate change, let alone the wisdom of pricing carbon.