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Tuesday, 25 February 2014
Page: 766

Carbon Pricing

Mr JOHN COBB (Calare) (14:26): My question is to the Deputy Prime Minister. Will the minister inform the House what the impact of the carbon tax is on diesel, petrol and aviation fuels? Is there a way to reduce this burden, particularly in Calare?

Mr TRUSS (Wide BayDeputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development) (14:26): I thank the member for Calare for his very important question. The reality is that the carbon tax is adding to the cost of fuel right across the country and it is adding therefore to the cost of doing business wherever we are. There is carbon tax on the diesel used by trains to move products to the port. There is carbon tax on the trains that carry people to work. If you travel to work on a train, whether it be diesel or electric, you pay a carbon tax. If you drive your car to work there is no carbon tax directly applied to the fuel. If the Greens really believe in public transport, as they say, if members opposite really believe in the importance of encouraging use of public transport, they will vote against the carbon tax. Get rid of the carbon tax. It will make public transport cheaper and therefore a more competitive way for people to travel to work. If you are worried about wanting to build more infrastructure or you want to build more roads, there is carbon tax applying to the diesel used in graders and trucks building roads across the country. If you want better investment in infrastructure and better value for money, vote against the carbon tax.

Yesterday I referred to the carbon tax on aviation fuel. If you want a more competitive airline, if you want our Australian airlines to be more competitive than airlines in other parts of the world, vote out the carbon tax. Get rid of the carbon tax. The reality is that the carbon tax is adding to the cost of everything we do. I know the member for Calare is well and truly aware of the fact that, if Labor had its way, the carbon tax would be added to all transport fuel from 1 July this year. Their intention was to extend the carbon tax—6½ cents a litre, 7½ cents a litre —to every truck operating in this nation. That was Labor's plan. If they had been re-elected we would be getting a carbon tax on the entire transport industry. We do not want it on the transport industry. We do not want it at all. The people have voted to get rid of it and it is time this parliament responds to the demands of the Australian people and abolished the carbon tax.