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Monday, 7 November 2011
Page: 8300


Senator WONG (South AustraliaMinister for Finance and Deregulation) (12:51): That was a speech like many we have heard from Senator Cormann simply railing against pricing carbon, not really dealing with the bill before the chamber. But I want to make a couple of points because the exhortation is to deal with facts. The facts are that it will cost us more as an economy and as a community to act later rather than earlier on climate change. The facts are that the government's policy will cost the economy, households and business less than the opposition's policy. The facts are that the science in the last few years has got worse. If you read the updates to the settled science—and I invite those opposite to read the work of Professor Steffen and publications earlier this year—what they tell us is that the window of opportunity is even narrower than it was when we first presented the CPRS. The facts are that those opposite like to talk about other countries in an attempt to say to people in this chamber and elsewhere, 'Don't worry about the risk to the next generation, don't worry about the fact that it might be a good thing to shift from being a very highly polluting economy, let's just say no.' Those are the facts that Senator Cormann and his colleagues do not wish to face. I again suggest, Madam Temporary Chair, that it would be a good thing if we could deal with some of the amendments before the chair.