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Wednesday, 19 August 2009
Page: 5374

Senator WONG (Minister for Climate Change and Water) (12:42 PM) —I remind all senators we are about to go to MPIs. Whilst I am very happy to continue debating this, I remind them also that the Clean Energy Council has estimated that the industry is losing about $2 million a week in the absence of this legislation being passed and certainty being provided. It is the government’s intention to do all we are able to pass this legislation this week. Given we have three pages of amendments and we have not even voted on the first one—

Senator Ian Macdonald interjecting—

Senator WONG —I was not particularly directing that at you, Senator Macdonald, for a change. I invite senators in this debate to consider their approach to this debate. In the time remaining, I do not have time to respond to everything Senator Milne or Senator Boswell put. I am happy to do it subsequently in the committee debate. Senator Milne has launched into an aggressive attack on others, including accusing the government of Orwellian doublethink. I do not think that that language is appropriate or helpful. If the senator is accusing us and others of that, perhaps the senator should consider the inconsistency of a position where a party which says it is supportive of action on climate change could vote against the first legislated limit and reduction of carbon pollution in the nation’s history. The senator should consider, perhaps, how she ends up on the same side of the chamber as Senator Fielding and Senator Boswell on an issue such as the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. When she accuses others of doublethink, I would invite her to consider the logic of the Greens’ position on the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. In relation to Senator Boswell’s response, I have a range of things I can say. I am happy to do it now and we can put this amendment to the vote or we can do it subsequently.

Progress reported.