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Thursday, 22 March 2012
Page: 4013

Carbon Pricing

Mr ABBOTT (WarringahLeader of the Opposition) (14:32): My question is to the Prime Minister. I again remind her that every council, sports club, charity and community group across Queensland will soon be paying higher power bills under her carbon tax and that if every group applied for the government's compensation they would receive just $550. Prime Minister, how will this help the RACQ CareFlight service, for instance, which faces a carbon tax hit of over $150,000 a year, and rising?

Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (14:33): As I have explained to this parliament before, I think in response to a very similar question, we do have some measures in the carbon pricing package to assist not-for profit organisations. Let me also explain more broadly that, whether it is in Queensland or in any other part of Australia, we have worked through the carbon pricing package to provide support to families and to pensioners so that they will have more money in their hands. Whether it is those workers who are getting a tax cut of $300, whether it is workers who earn less than $80,000, whether it is people getting increases in family payments or whether it is pensioners, we have worked so that nine out of 10 households will receive assistance, and there will be millions of households that will receive more assistance than the average carbon price impact on them. We have also worked in the carbon pricing package—

Mr Abbott: Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order. CareFlight has a $150,000 increase in its bills because of the carbon tax. That was the question and the Prime Minister should be directly relevant.

The SPEAKER: The Prime Minister will return to the substance of the question.

Ms GILLARD: I was about to point out that we do have a special stream of funds to assist not-for-profit organisations. Of course, because the Leader of the Opposition broadly raised other entities, I am explaining the household assistance package and the fact that people who are members of those organisations will receive money in the form of tax cuts, family payments or pension increases, and there are billions of dollars of support for jobs.

Specifically on the flights he raises, I draw his attention to the dedicated funding stream under the Low Carbon Communities Program to provide payments to charities to offset the carbon costs they will face for—and these are important words—aviation and maritime transport fuel to assist them. That has specifically been done because we do not want vital services like medical air services to face additional fuel costs from the introduction of a carbon price. So the Leader of the Opposition has raised with me a broad set of circumstances. That is the set of circumstances in relation to not-for-profit organisations and care flights, for example. The set of circumstances for members of sporting clubs is about tax cuts, family payment increases and pension increases, and there are also billions of dollars in support for jobs through the Jobs and Competitiveness Program. This is all a very sharp contrast to the plan of the Leader of the Opposition, which is ill thought out, which would be incredibly costly to the economy and would impose on each family a bill of $1,300.

The SPEAKER: Order! I have removed the honourable member for Gippsland from the chamber for one hour. I notice that he is in the gallery in contravention of standing order 94(e); I therefore name the honourable member for Gippsland.