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Tuesday, 2 April 2019
Page: 14477


Mr TED O'BRIEN (Fairfax) (16:07): There's no doubt: our country faces challenges. It always has and it always will. How governments respond to those challenges defines who they are and defines their values.

We already know what Labor's values are by virtue of their tax policies. We know very well Labor's plans around franking credits, negative gearing tax, capital gains and family trusts. Labor's only solution with respect to the economy is tax—tax, tax, tax. It's the only policy Labor relies on.

In comes our challenge with climate change, and you would think that after nearly six years the Labor Party would actually have done thorough costings on its policy, but it has not. It has not; the opposition leader continues to stumble because he cannot answer the most basic of questions about what their climate change policy would cost. They haven't got a clue! What we do know, from independent modelling, is that their climate change policy is in fact nothing more than yet another tax.

Let's take Tradie Joe. In a few years time, Tradie Joe might be very fortunate not to be one of the 336,000 people who lose their jobs as a result of Labor's energy policy. Tradie Joe survives. He's not one of those 336,000 who lose their job. Tradie Joe, unfortunately, is paying 50 per cent more in his energy bills—his electricity bills—because Labor's policies increased wholesale prices by 58 per cent and they were passed through. Tradie Joe also is incurring $9,000 less in his wages. He's paying $5,000 more for his ute. He has a pie for lunch. Even the pie is taxed because of Labor's energy policy. He has a can of Coke. The can of Coke is taxed because of Labor's energy policy. He wants to buy his wife a packet of Tim Tams but—guess what?—Labor has a Tim Tam tax! These are the policies that are already being laid out by the Labor Party.

Tradie Joe is fictitious for one key reason. We need to ensure those opposite do not get hold of the treasury bench because we know that their policies, right across portfolios, represent a wrecking ball to this economy. If anybody is unsure about the impact and intent of the Labor Party with respect to energy, they should look at the state of Queensland, where they are in government. In the state of Queensland the Queensland Labor government controls about 80 per cent of energy, running a complete monopoly right across the supply chain outside of the south-east. If you look at your quarterly bill in Queensland you'll see how much you are being ripped off by the Queensland Labor government on an annual basis: $468. The Queensland Labor government are more than happy to ensure that reductions in wholesale prices, courtesy of the coalition federal government, are not passed on to consumers. They are more than happy to ensure that their inflated asset values are not written down so they can keep charging and ripping off customers. They are more than happy to do dodgy debt deals where the Labor government lend money to the Labor energy company, who in turn provide healthy dividends to the Labor government. That's the way they work. That's the way they operate. With anything to do with serious policy there's only one answer from the Labor Party: tax, tax, tax, tax, tax. Labor know nothing but tax, and that is why they hope to kill this economy.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Hogan ): The discussion has concluded.