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Monday, 7 November 2011
Page: 8305

Senator XENOPHON (South Australia) (13:13): I know that the minister is very keen for the amendments to be moved—I appreciate that—so we can get on with this. It is worth noting that the debating time for this bill in the committee stage has been truncated as a result of a procedural motion last week, which I do not think is desirable.

I have a question I would like to ask before Senator Birmingham moves an amendment that is identical to the amendment that I have tabled relating to the issue of when this legislation will come into effect. I am happy for Senator Birmingham to do that, but there is one preliminary issue before we deal with that amendment. It is a seminal issue that I think was touched on last Thursday night. Under the CPRS, under the legislation introduced by the Rudd government, there was a clear target of five per cent reduction in greenhouse gases based on 2000 levels. Whilst this legislation does not have any specified target, can the government confirm that it is the intention of this bill to achieve the same outcome of a five per cent reduction on 2000 levels, or will a greater amount or a lesser amount be achieved? This is not a trick question. It is a genuine question to establish whether what we are going for is the same target as that in the CPRS.