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Wednesday, 15 August 2012
Page: 8711

Carbon Pricing

Mr HOCKEY (North Sydney) (14:13): My question is to the Treasurer. I remind the Treasurer that this is the second anniversary of his statement, 'We reject this hysterical allegation that somehow we are moving towards a carbon tax.' Given the Treasurer has introduced the world's biggest carbon tax, will he now apologise for deliberately misleading the Australian people?

Opposition members: Sing it, Swannie!

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! We are on to question 2—I just point that out. The Treasurer has the call and will be heard in silence.

Mr SWAN (LilleyDeputy Prime Minister and Treasurer) (14:13): I appreciate the question from the shadow Treasurer. He was the parliamentarian who tweeted asking Australians what he should do about climate change, particularly when he has had a lifelong support for a price on carbon.

So enough of the hypocrisy from the shadow Treasurer—enough of that. We on this side of the House have always believed in putting a price on carbon and, until the leadership of the Liberal Party changed, so did they. The member for Wentworth, when he was Leader of the Opposition, believed in putting a price on carbon. And there is a very good reason for that: so we could encourage investment in renewable energy, because no prosperous, first-world country in the 21st century can remain so unless they price carbon. That was a bipartisan consensus in this parliament.

Mr Hockey: Madam Deputy Speaker, on a point of order. The question was: will the Treasurer apologise for lying to the Australian people?

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms AE Burke ): It is an abuse of a point of order. If he is asking about relevance, he does not need to introduce argument. The Treasurer has the call.

Mr SWAN: This side of the House will always do the right thing by the Australian people and our nation. And we will do it in the face of the most negative opposition in Australia's history. They are not interested in our national interest and do not care about a prosperous economy in the 21st century. We will always fight to put in place the long-term reforms to make our economy resilient.

Mr Simpkins interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER (14:16): The member for Cowan will leave the chamber under 94(a).

The member for Cowan then left the chamber.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The member for North Sydney on a supplementary.

Mr HOCKEY (North Sydney) (14:16): No, Madam Deputy Speaker. I seek leave to table the transcript from Meet the Press, which was an interview with Paul Bongiorno and Peter—

Leave not granted.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The Treasurer has the call. He had not completed his answer, because he thought you were taking a point of order.

Mr Pyne: On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: This cannot be on relevance; one has already been taken on relevance.

Mr Pyne: Madam Deputy Speaker, I note that you have already excluded the member for Cowan under standing order 94(a). I simply ask you: given that the Treasurer was asked a very straightforward question about his statements before the election and is ranting at the opposition—

Mr Hockey interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The Manager of Opposition Business will resume his seat. The member for North Sydney should understand the standing orders and screaming an interjection across the chamber, regardless of provocation, is not allowed under the standing orders. The Treasurer has the call.

Mr SWAN (LilleyDeputy Prime Minister and Treasurer) (14:17): On 1 July we turned 20 years of debate in this country about the need to do something about climate change into action. That is what we did to make sure that we reduce carbon pollution and to make sure that we do it in a way whereby we drive investment in renewable energy so there can be a clean energy future for our children and our grandchildren. Those of us who value the environment and the future of our country know how important it is to do that for subsequent generations. As a Queenslander, I am proud of what we have done to reduce carbon pollution, to make sure we can save our Great Barrier Reef, to make sure we can protect our precious environment and grow our economy for future generations.