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Wednesday, 29 February 2012
Page: 2311

Carbon Pricing


Mr HOCKEY (North Sydney) (14:19): My question is to the Minister for Resources and Energy. I remind the minister of his recent statement in relation to the carbon tax that there is 'a lot of concern in industry at the moment about the price we have locked in, given where Europe is at'.

Government members interjecting

The SPEAKER: Order! Member for North Sydney, there has been too much interjection from my right. The member for North Sydney will recommence his question and the clock will restart.

Mr HOCKEY: Thank you, Mr Speaker. My question is to the Minister for Resources and Energy. I remind the minister of his recent statement in relation to the carbon tax that there is 'a lot of concern in industry at the moment about the price we have locked in, given where Europe is at'. Given that Australia's carbon tax will start at more than twice the level of the European carbon tax, will the minister confirm his own opinion that the carbon tax is too high?




Mr MARTIN FERGUSON (BatmanMinister for Resources and Energy and Minister for Tourism) (14:20): I thank the honourable member for the question. In doing so, I acknowledge that there were two questions posed to me on Meet the Press last Sunday, one about the views of the member for Griffith, going to his proposed alternative approach to carbon pricing in Australia. I sought to explain the basis of his thinking. If I have misrepresented his view, I apologise. I was then asked a second question about the view of the government. I indicated that, from the government's point of view, the issue is resolved.

Industry requires certainty. In the context of my responsibilities to the electricity sector of Australia, it is of the utmost importance for the purposes of maintaining energy security in Australia, because we are at a point in our development at which the demand for energy has increased in Australia whilst we are also required to undertake a major transition aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Australia. In the context of achieving those dual objectives, we require certainty in industry for the purpose of facilitating new investment whilst at the same time using our clean energy strategy for the purpose of encouraging new investment in clean energy initiatives such as the potential to develop our gas industry for domestic purposes and, I might say, investment in renewables such as wind and solar. I thank the honourable member for the question.