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Tuesday, 28 October 2014
Page: 12246

Carbon Pricing

Mr SUKKAR (Deakin) (14:17): My question is to the Minister for Small Business. Will the minister inform the House of the savings that have been passed on to families and businesses in the Deakin electorate and elsewhere since the government scrapped the world's biggest carbon tax?

Mr BILLSON (DunkleyMinister for Small Business) (14:17): I thank the member for Deakin for the question. The government has received the latest ACCC carbon tax repeal monitoring report. This report will be publicly released tomorrow. It confirms what we learnt from the CPI figures last week. The repeal of the carbon tax is delivering real savings to Australian households and small businesses. Isn't that great news? I thought that is something that those opposite would welcome. The ACCC's work to ensure that the savings are credible and have been calculated on a sound basis and are communicated to consumers is progressing well and those savings are being passed through.

In the retail electricity and gas area, the annual average cost savings are proven to be quite significant. These significant savings are being passed through. In the member for Deakin's home state, our great state of Victoria, households are now saving up to 12.4 per cent on their electricity bills. For small business consumers the savings in many cases are even more significant than the important savings that households are receiving. In gas the commission is also reporting savings of up to eight per cent. These are substantial savings that are being replicated right across the country and right across the economy.

The savings are not limited solely to energy providers. We are seeing evidence of cheaper council rates and cheaper local government services. In the member's own electorate, I am advised that the cities of Whitehorse and Maroondah have already identified significant cost savings and that is putting downward pressure on their rates. In the Glen Eira City Council area they have removed the carbon tax impost from their waste management charges. That is $37 a year in savings. The Kingston council originally flagged a 4.25 per cent rate increase. That has come off to 4.06 per cent. The Wyndham council and the Wodonga council are passing through savings on bin charges and in their waste management costs.

I want to thank the commission for doing its work and using the tools this parliament has provided it. It is doing the work of the tough carbon cop that continues to be an important element of making sure these savings are passed through. Let us not forget that Labor wants to bring back the hurt, the harm and the price pain of the carbon tax. We said we would scrap Labor's carbon tax and we have. We said we would ensure the savings would be passed through and we are. This is part of our economic action strategy to restore hope, reward and opportunity and to build a stronger economy for a safer future. It is being done and those savings are real and are materialising in households and businesses right across the country.