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Monday, 20 August 2012
Page: 9202

Mr PERRETT (Moreton) (21:24): Thank you, Deputy Speaker Leigh; your earlier motion up in the Federation Chamber was a noble point for this parliament to consider. This motion, put forward by the member for La Trobe, is not so noble.

Mr Chester: It was the member for Gippsland.

Mr PERRETT: I beg your pardon, Member for Gippsland. The member for Gippsland put up this motion. I could not sign up quickly enough to talk about the price on carbon. Obviously, firstly, we need to turn to the motion put forward by the member for Gippsland. It talked about the impact of the carbon price. As the first thing we do, let's look at the facts. Let's have a look at the economy. I wondered whether, if we went back 10 years, the Treasurer at the time, Peter Costello, had a set of figures like this, with 4.3 per cent growth, especially compared to the rest of the world—

Mr Chester interjecting

Mr PERRETT: Yes, a surplus. I take that interjection from the member opposite. That is certainly what we are predicting in our budget, with 14,000 jobs created in the month of July. That is despite the Premier of Queensland sacking thousands of people. The number was 5,000, then 6,000, and then 7,000, and they are on track to having sacked 20,000—some say even 30,000—people. When we look at private investment in the economy, we see the highest percentage of GDP in almost 40 years. The investment pipeline lined up to come in, especially in resources but also across Australia, is $500 billion, or half a trillion dollars. And look at the TD Securities results in terms of inflation. Surely with those figures, inflation must be out of control, or unemployment must be a problem. But, no, we have unemployment at around the five per cent mark. Since back in July when the carbon tax was introduced, we have had inflation at 0.2 per cent.

I remember a time when it was said that there would be serious price increases, or, according to the member for Warringah, 'astronomical and unimaginable price increases'. I am not using his imagination as a yardstick for what people are doing. He talked about it being a 'wrecking ball' on the economy. Surely the Treasurer 10 years ago would have been in raptures over those sorts of economic figures. We heard it was a cobra poised to strike the economy, and then it transmogrified into a carpet snake—

Ms Rishworth interjecting

Mr PERRETT: Sorry, a python. A carpet snake is a type of python. Anyone from the bush knows that a carpet snake will not hurt you. You probably don’t want to put your finger in its mouth, but a carpet snake won't do any harm. Most carpet snakes do good things around the home. They get rid of mice and a few things like that.

Mr Chester: We should all have one!

Mr PERRETT: Yes, definitely, a carpet snake is a good thing. Anyone from country Queensland would agree. Even an amethystine python from North Queensland, up around the member for Dawson's area, is a good thing.

The reality is that the predicted impact of this price on carbon has been bang on the money, the predictions from Treasury have been bang on. Treasury are the very same people that predicted how the GST would impact on the economy. Lo and behold, it is exactly the same impact.

Ms Rishworth: A lot less than the GST.

Mr PERRETT: Definitely a lot less than the GST. It will be two years tomorrow since the 2010 election, and I can assure those opposite that the people that turned out to vote for me in Moreton would have been horrified if we had not gone ahead with pricing carbon the way we had promised in 2007, the way the member for Warringah promised in 2007 and the way the member for Wentworth promised up until 2 December 2009, when the member for Warringah took control of the opposition by one vote—with one donkey vote and one missing vote. It was so close, we could have had a completely different approach to this problem. Instead we have seen political opportunism still coming out tonight, with this motion, and with members saying the price on carbon is having a significant impact. The economic figures laugh in the face of such an accusation from the member for— (Time expired)