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Monday, 20 August 2012
Page: 9111

Carbon Pricing

Mr CHRISTENSEN (Dawson) (14:54): My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer her to the statement by the Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency in a carbon tax debate last week: 'Farmers will not pay a cent.' How does she reconcile his statement with this letter from a tomato farmer in Bowen? It shows that Visy will increase the annual bill for cardboard boxes used on his family-run tomato farm by more than $12,000 due to the carbon tax.

Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (14:55): To the member who asked the question: the parliamentary secretary would have been making the simple point that it is only big businesses that generate a lot of carbon pollution, thousands and thousands of tonnes of carbon pollution—indeed, 25,000 tonnes or more—that pay the carbon price. That is the point he would have been drawing out in that debate. To the member who is continuing his question after a series of questions today: what we are seeing today is an opposition determined to continue its fear campaign, even though—day by day by day—the facts are proving this fear campaign wrong.

Whyalla was going to be wiped off the map. That is wrong. Price rises were going to be unimaginably large. That is wrong. Electricity bills were going to skyrocket—even the Leader of the Opposition has had to acknowledge that was wrong today.

Mr Hartsuyker: Madam Deputy Speaker, on a point of order: there is an increase in the cost of cardboard boxes—of $12,000—due to the carbon tax.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms AE Burke ): The Prime Minister has the call.

Ms GILLARD: To the member who asked the question: No. 1, of course we would be checking the assertions in the question—when they come from the opposition we need to; No. 2, I have described on more than one occasion in question time today the circumstances of small business; and, No. 3, the continuation of this fear campaign today, in the face of the facts, I think is because the Leader of the Opposition this morning and his opposition team are now desperate to distract from his pledge this morning to cut the funding to every public school in the nation—because he does not want to have public debate focused on his cuts to public schools. Here we go with the fear campaign and the ridiculous points of order.

Mrs Bronwyn Bishop: Madam Deputy Speaker, on a point of order: I would refer you to page 519 of House of Representatives Practice and I would refer you to standing order No. 91. It says: 'Where a member is persistently and wilfully refusing to conform to the standing order', as is the Prime Minister. Her behaviour is disorderly. I would ask you to say that this is disorderly, her refusal to comply.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The member for Mackellar will resume her seat. The Prime Minister has the call.

Ms GILLARD: I am making the very simple point that we continue to see the fear campaign despite the facts. And the fact they want to distract from today is their plan to cut public schools.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The member for Dawson is seeking to table a document?

Mr Christensen: Yes, I seek leave to table a letter, which also states: 'Never have we seen such a dud government before.'

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The member for Dawson will leave the chamber, under standing order 94(a). Abuse of points of order is now out of control. The behaviour of the opposition and the complete disregard of the standing orders by the majority of the opposition are also on display.

The member for Dawson then left the chamber.