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Tuesday, 18 September 2012
Page: 10998

Carbon Pricing

Mr CIOBO (Moncrieff) (14:20): My question is to the Treasurer. I refer the Treasurer to this power bill from Warren Stanlake, who owns the Main Beach newsagency. This bill clearly shows that the carbon tax has directly increased his off-peak electricity charges by over 85 per cent. He will be paying $2,100 more a year because of Labor's carbon tax. Because they get no compensation, Treasurer, do you expect newsagents like Warren to absorb these extra costs or to pass them on?

Mr SWAN (LilleyDeputy Prime Minister and Treasurer) (14:21): I will be very brief, because I have dealt with this question on a number of occasions in the last couple of weeks. Those opposite continue to stand up and claim electricity price increases due to the carbon price which are simply untrue. What is worse about it is that they know it, but they continue to do it in this House, day in and day out—yet another demonstration of how all of those on that side of the House, led by the Leader of the Opposition, are in a constant war against the facts.

What they have, however, is this aggressive campaign of misrepresentation, seeking to make a political point and to mislead the community. It has been going on for a long time, but it gets exposed further and further the longer it goes on. I thought everybody in this House did agree that the one thing we should do is reduce carbon pollution, and I thought that we had an understanding that at least we both had the same target.

Of course, we have acknowledged that there will be a cost for consumers flowing from our package—something like $9.90 per household.

Mr Ciobo: Madam Deputy Speaker, I rise on a point of order. It was a simple question. I asked the Treasurer to be directly relevant, and not to start talking about Labor's philosophical troubles but to deal with what this small business person should do.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms AE Burke ): The member for Moncrieff will resume his seat. The Treasurer has the call.

Mr SWAN: These are the facts. The coalition plan would cost households $1,300, and they come in here and talk about the cost of living. The coalition plan will cost households $1,300—that is a fact, and it is a very inconvenient fact for those opposite.

We have put in place assistance to households and assistance to trade-exposed industries. We have done it to reduce carbon pollution. We have done it to ensure investment in renewable energy. We have done it so our economy can prosper in the future. And what we are seeing here is yet another example of how those on the other side of the House can do nothing other than be very aggressive and negative all of the time, with nothing positive to say about the future of the country, and that is why they have been exposed.

Mr Ciobo: Madam Deputy Speaker, given the Treasurer's insistence on getting the facts, I seek leave to table the electricity bills so that we can deal with the facts.

Leave not granted.

Mr Albanese: I present from News Limited: 'Abbott steps in as Liberal MP'—Steve Ciobo—'backs call for return to elements of Work Choices'.