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Tuesday, 2 April 2019
Page: 14475


Mr PASIN (Barker) (15:57): I think I've heard it all now. The member for Bass, if I heard him correctly, said Tasmania will decarbonise the world. Message to the member for Bass: Australia produces roughly 1.2 per cent of global emissions. If we were to reduce that to zero, per se, China on a per annum basis increases its emissions by more than what amounts to Australia's 1.2 per cent. So, if you think you're going to decarbonise the world from Tasmania, you keep fighting on, Charlie; you keep fighting on.

The reality is that this is a global challenge, and that's why we have to play our part globally. What does 'our part globally' look like? It looks like meeting our international obligations. We met Kyoto 1, we're on target to meet Kyoto 2 and, as you have heard from the minister regularly, we will meet our Paris obligations in a canter. What those opposite are doing is participating in what can only be described as a gargantuan effort to virtue signal to the Left of the Australian constituency and say: 'Don't run off and vote for the Greens. We're your climate warriors. We will stand up.' But what they fail to say is what impact this will have. Remember that the Chief Scientist has said these actions will have no impact—that is, if we reduced our emissions to zero, that alone would have no impact globally.

So what does it mean to everyday, ordinary Australians? We've heard of a $9,000 hit on wages. We've heard it will cost 336,000 jobs. We'll see electricity up by 58 per cent. Those are things we knew before we came here this week, but we now know a lot more. We don't have the kind of detail we should have, but we know it will cost a lot more. It could cost as much as $35 billion to buy international credits. That's money leaving Australia, going to overseas countries and funding their schools, their hospitals—the kinds of services that, quite frankly, Australians deserve and need.

My challenge is to the member for Port Adelaide. I want to know what he's got against the workers at the Kimberley-Clark mill in Millicent in my electorate. This is a facility that produces toilet paper and tissue paper. It directly employs about 350 people in that community; indirectly, it's about 450. Now, before those opposite rush off and say, 'Oh well, they're not environmentally responsible,' this is an organisation that's been recognised for its achievements in environmental sustainability. They've won several third-party sustainability awards over the past five years, and many of those awards directly resulted from the work they did at Millicent. This is my point: the reality here is that if you impose your policies on this business, there is a very high likelihood that this business will be incapable of continuing to operate. If that happens, guess what? We're still going to consume toilet paper, we're going to still need tissues, but they will come from overseas. They'll come from jurisdictions that don't have the kind of environmental regulation that we have in Australia, so, in effect, in your ill-advised attempt to reduce carbon emissions you will send this industrial effort overseas. In return, we will obviously lose those jobs, both direct and indirect, and we will import that toilet paper and tissue paper.

Leaving aside the carbon miles on a container load, if not a shipload, if not many shiploads, of toilet paper, this will be produced in countries that don't have the kinds of regulations we do. And so effectively what you'll be doing is exporting jobs and increasing emissions. That's the real impact that this policy will have, because not only will you do that—increase carbon emissions from the transport of goods to Australia, export those jobs and force this industrial effort into jurisdictions that are less environmentally sensitive—but you'll also impoverish Australia as a nation. And—light-bulb moment—only wealthy jurisdictions, only wealthy countries, can do stuff about their environment. Only wealthy jurisdictions can work to improve the environmental settings in their country. If you want to impoverish Australia, if you want to impoverish our fiscal position, then you will make it much more difficult for Australians—and Australia as a nation—to care about and take a really strong interest in their environment.