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Monday, 7 November 2011
Page: 8425

Senator WONG (South AustraliaMinister for Finance and Deregulation) (21:28): The government will appoint people to the authority who are appropriate to appoint. The conspiracy theory which I think is being put forward is really a very long bow to draw. I think the government's intentions around appointing people who are independent and have integrity are demonstrated by the appointment of the chair. I understand that the Chief Scientist is also an ex officio member of the authority, and I would assume that the senator would not be suggesting that the Chief Scientist of the country was some sort of mouthpiece for the Greens Party.

Senator Birmingham: Note that I only asked about the seven authority members.

Senator WONG: I accept that, Senator, but I am making a point about the authority. I have made our position clear in relation to targets. I have already done that in this debate. The government stands by its previously announced five to 15 and 25 per cent targets.

Senator Birmingham: Do you agree the conditions have been met?

Senator WONG: As you would recall, Senator, the government has also announced the conditions associated with those. If you have a question of Senator Milne, that is a matter that should be addressed to her. The bill before the chamber in terms of the fixed-price period and the default caps references the bipartisan five per cent target. However, there is this architecture, which we are discussing now, which is the Climate Change Authority. I am very happy to continue talking about this. If the senator has nothing further on this point, my invitation to the chamber is that we vote on Senator Xenophon's amendment.