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Monday, 22 September 2014
Page: 9974

Carbon Pricing

Ms GAMBARO (Brisbane) (15:08): My question is to the Minister for the Environment. I remind the minister that the Queensland government has decided to reduce bus, train and ferry ticket fares by five per cent as a result of the repeal of the carbon tax. What other measures have been passed on to families and businesses in Queensland since the government scrapped the world's largest carbon tax, and are there any threats to these savings?

Mr HUNT (FlindersMinister for the Environment) (15:09): Let me say thank you to the member for Brisbane. This is her second consecutive question on the environment, which is two more than the entire Labor Party over the course of the last year. She has just raised the issue of the cost of public transport in Brisbane. Yesterday we heard the Queensland Premier announce a five per cent decrease—

Mr Conroy interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Charlton will desist.

Mr HUNT: in the cost of public transport for Brisbane residents, to take effect as of 3 November this year. What is the reason for this? The Premier said:

We have found $30 million worth of savings in the transport budget with the abolition of the carbon tax.

But it gets a little bit better than that. Because they have factored in other costs associated with the carbon tax, they will freeze instead of have a 2½ per cent decrease in terms of the costs related to the carbon tax for bus, train and ferry from 1 January 2015. So all up, as of next year, it will be a 7½ per cent saving. But it is not just public transport. What have we seen in terms of electricity costs in Queensland since the carbon tax was repealed by us but was wanted to be retained by those opposite?

Ms Butler interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Griffith will desist.

Mr HUNT: For residential customers, Simply Energy has announced a nine per cent reduction, Power Direct has announced a 9.2 per cent reduction and Ergon Energy has announced a 9.4 per cent reduction. And do you know what? Those opposite want to bring all of those costs back. For small business customers, Lumo Energy has announced an 8.9 per cent reduction, ERM Power has announced a 9.1 per cent reduction and Energy Australia has announced a 9.1 per cent reduction. But my favourite is Origin Energy which has announced, for its commercial and industrial customers, who are largely manufacturers—you remember them, you used to have workers in that sector—there is a 15 per cent reduction that you want to take away. We are delivering a 15 per cent reduction in electricity price for Queensland commercial and industrial customers, and those opposite want to bring it back. The member for Brisbane asked whether there is a threat to these price reductions. There is. At the next election, Australian consumers and Australian voters will have a very clear choice: a 7½ per cent reduction in public transport costs for Queenslanders and an average of seven per cent for gas or nine per cent for electricity, or the reverse if those opposite are voted back. We removed it carbon tax; they want it back.

Mr Abbott: I ask that further questions be placed on the Notice Paper.