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Wednesday, 13 November 2013
Page: 143

Carbon Pricing


Mr VAN MANEN (Forde) (14:02): My question is to the Prime Minister. Will the Prime Minister please inform the House how scrapping the carbon tax will help Australian families and businesses to get ahead, including those in my electorate of Forde?


Mr ABBOTT (WarringahPrime Minister) (14:02): I thank the member for Forde for his question, and I welcome his return to the House. And I observe that the Australian people, the voters of Forde, are people of discernment, and substance beats celebrity every time.

This is the first working day of the new parliament, and straightaway the government is getting down to business. We are getting down to business, which is exactly what the public would expect from a government that said, on election night, that this country is once more open for business, because it is under new management. The repeal of the carbon tax should be the first economic reform of this parliament. That is what this parliament should do. As its first contribution to economic reform it should repeal the carbon tax. Repealing the carbon tax will make jobs more secure. It will make businesses more competitive, it will make households more prosperous and it will make our economy so much stronger. It will do all that, and it will help the environment.

If you look at the former government's own figures, Australia's emissions were going up, not down. They were going up by eight per cent, not down by five per cent—notwithstanding a carbon tax that members opposite wanted to raise to $38 a tonne by 2020. Repealing the carbon tax will save the average Australian household, including the households of Forde, $550 a year. Repealing the carbon tax will cut $200 off people's power bills. It will cut $70 off people's gas bills. The carbon tax is not an environmental benefit; it is purely and simply an economic cost. That is why it must go. We have a mandate to repeal the carbon tax. The government had no mandate to introduce it in the former parliament. That is why it must go.

It might help the House to know that the Canadian government today issued a statement 'applauding the decision by Prime Minister Abbott to introduce legislation to repeal Australia's carbon tax': this decision 'will be noticed around the world and sends an important message.'