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Monday, 27 February 2012
Page: 1772

Gillard Government

Mr CHRISTENSEN (Dawson) (14:43): My question is to the Prime Minister. I remind the Prime Minister of her written agreement with the member for Denison that underpinned her ability to form a minority government last year, her pledge before the 2010 election, 'There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead,' and her agreement with the member for Griffith not to challenge him, the night before he was dumped as leader—all of which were broken. I ask the Prime Minister: is there any promise you are not prepared to break?

Mr Albanese: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order: I refer to the written ruling that you read to the House earlier in question time today, when you gave fair warning that questions such as that should be ruled out of order.

Mr Pyne: Mr Speaker—

The SPEAKER: The member for Sturt will resume his seat. The question is allowed. I call the honourable Prime Minister.

Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (14:44): A little bit earlier in question time I said that what the opposition would do today is concentrate on the Labor Party and what we would do is concentrate on the nation's future. So I say to the member who asked this question that he clearly has no interest at all in tackling climate change or seizing a clean energy future for our country. He is prepared to back the Leader of the Opposition as they wander around the nation on the one hand saying, 'Let's stand still; let's do nothing,' and then on the other hand saying, 'Let's have our own scheme and charge each family $1,300 for the scheme we have designed, which we know will not work.' Whereas the truth—and everybody in this parliament actually knows it—is that they will never—

Mrs Bronwyn Bishop: Mr Speaker, on a point of order: I request that the Prime Minister be directly relevant in answering her question. The question was: are there any promises that she will not break?

The SPEAKER: The member will resume her seat. The Prime Minister will focus on the specifics of the question asked by the honourable member for Dawson. The Prime Minister has the call.

Ms GILLARD: There were three policy issues raised in the question. I know, of course, that the opposition has got no interest in policies, no interest in the nation's future—just says no to everything. But when I am asked about three policies I am going to answer on the three policies. Unlike the opposition, we are focused on the nation's future. Unlike the opposition, we will not wander around pretending that it is good enough to stand still. We will not wander around pretending that there is a way of addressing climate change efficiently that does not involve putting a price on carbon—that is, we will be clear and accurate with the Australian people, the way the member for Wentworth was when he was Leader of the Opposition, the way former Prime Minister John Howard was when he took an emissions trading scheme to the 2007 election.

The member also asks about other policy questions. If he wants to address problem gambling then he will vote with the government on the biggest package of reforms ever to be brought to this nation's parliament to address problem gambling. If he genuinely cares, if this is anything other than cheap politics, then he will be honour bound to do that having raised the issue.

More generally, I say this to those members opposite as they continue their negativity, their denial of the nation's needs and of building the nation's future. Whilst they stay stuck in that cheap negativity we will be getting on with the job: not a day to lose to build the prosperous future that our nation wants; not a day to lose to make sure that children have the best education, that we have the best health care, that we have a national disability insurance scheme; and not a day to lose as we address the pressing challenges as our economy restructures, as our regional economy restructures. We understand that those opposite will carp and whinge and moan and say no. We will just get on with the job.

The SPEAKER: On reflection, in future I will rule such a question out of order on the basis that it does not conform with standing order 100(d)(iv). The imputations contained in the question mean that, in future, a similar question will not be permitted.

Mr Abbott: Mr Speaker, I move—

Honourable members interjecting

The SPEAKER: Order! I will give the call to the Leader of the Opposition to move what he is about to move when the House returns to silence.

Dr Mike Kelly interjecting

The SPEAKER: The honourable member for Eden-Monaro will remove himself from the House under the provisions of standing order 94(a). The Leader of the Opposition has the call.

The member for Eden-Monaro then left the chamber.