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Monday, 7 November 2011
Page: 8309

Senator XENOPHON (South Australia) (13:29): I will follow on from that, but can I first say this. Senator Milne and I have our disagreements but I think we have a pretty constructive working relationship. We might have fundamental policy disagreements. I do not think it is fair to criticise Senator Milne for a lack of participation in the debate, which I do not think is quite right anyway when she participated very fully in the committee—a committee that I could not get on because of the way the numbers were. I do not think anyone in this chamber, whatever side of the debate they are on, could ever accuse Senator Milne of not participating fully and very vigorously in this debate. That is a fair thing to say which I think is a pretty apolitical statement.

Given the minister's answer, what I am trying to work out is this: five per cent was the target under the CPRS—a five per cent reduction of greenhouse gases by 2020 based on 2000 levels. The minister has said, as I understand it, that this bill does not resile from the government's position of a five per cent reduction in greenhouse gases based on the 2000 levels. Does it mean that this bill, in its form, in the scheme design that has been presented to us, could lead to a greater reduction than five per cent on 2000 levels by 2020? I am just trying to see whether this bill is an improvement on the CPRS in terms of its scheme design.