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Monday, 2 May 2016
Page: 3991

Climate Change


Ms LANDRY (Capricornia) (15:01): My question is to the Minister for the Environment. Will the minister outline how the government is tackling climate change without a tax on electricity? Is the minister aware of any alternative plans?


Mr HUNT (FlindersMinister for the Environment) (15:01): I want to thank the member for Capricornia, who voted to bring on the largest reduction in electricity prices in Australian history, along with every member on this side as opposed to every member of the other side, who voted for higher electricity prices.

We have managed to do two things to bring down electricity prices and emissions on our watch. Let's look at this. On our watch, what have we achieved? In the comparison between what Labor projected and our targets and actual emissions, we saw a reduction in 2015 alone of 100 million tonnes compared with what Labor said emissions would be in their last Senate projections in 2012. In 2020 we will see a reduction of 116 million tonnes. As I was able to announce to the United Nations only just over a week ago, we will close a gap of 755 million tonnes in the period between 2013 and 2020 and be 78 million tonnes in surplus. In other words, on our watch, in our time, under our policy, we will be 78 million tonnes ahead of our target and we will meet and beat our 2020 target. That is now accepted.

More than that, though, we have reduced electricity prices by the largest amount on record. Every member on this side of the House voted to reduce and deliver that electricity price outcome. Every member on the other side of the House voted to increase or maintain electricity prices at the highest of levels. That is the difference.

We did see an alternative approach put forward in the last week. That was for a new electricity tax, a new carbon tax. What is the goal of those opposite? It is to drive up electricity prices. That is the nature of their tax. It is to increase electricity prices for the lowest income earners, families, pensioners, farmers and small business owners. What did Labor's modelling say about Labor's policy when Labor was in government? This was modelling done by the Treasury of Australia. It said a similar target would produce a 78 per cent increase in wholesale electricity prices, a carbon price of $209 and an impact on family incomes of $4,900. Labor's modelling of Labor's policy when Labor was in government said there would be a 78 per cent increase in wholesale electricity prices. They are out to have an impact on the lowest income earners— (Time expired)