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Monday, 27 February 2012
Page: 1767

Carbon Pricing

Mrs MIRABELLA (Indi) (14:23): My question is to the Prime Minister. Is the finance minister right when she says the member for Griffith's suggestion of a review of the carbon tax could have a very negative effect, or is the resources minister right when he says:

… there is a lot of concern in industry at the moment about the price we've locked in … whether we've locked in a price that's to our disadvantage as a nation.

Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (14:23): I thank the member for her question. The government brought to this parliament legislation for carbon pricing at the right price in order to drive a transformation in our economy to a clean energy future. At that time, we understood the circumstances of industries that trade with the world and trade at a world price, which is why we have created a multi-billion dollar Jobs and Competitiveness Program to support those industries and to support those jobs. It should disappoint all Australians that the opposition came into this parliament and not only voted against that, but they also voted against a $300 million support plan for the steel industry—that is, having gone round the country pretending that they are interested in blue-collar jobs, when it came to recording their vote in this parliament in favour of blue-collar jobs they refused to do so.

The SPEAKER: The Prime Minister will return to the substance of the question.

Ms GILLARD: Our carbon pricing legislation has got it right. Through that legislation we will continue to support jobs, particularly blue-collar jobs. We will implement that legislation alongside our other major programs and policies to support blue-collar jobs and to support manufacturing. Unfortunately, the opposition has locked itself into cutting half a billion dollars out of that and then ending assistance to the car industry, putting at risk 46,000 blue-collar jobs. So I suggest to the member who asked this question she would be better off focusing her energy on working within her own political party to end this hypocrisy—they talk about blue-collar jobs but they never vote for them.