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Wednesday, 13 February 2013
Page: 1193

Gillard Government

Mr PYNE (SturtManager of Opposition Business) (14:39): My question is to the Prime Minister. I remind the Prime Minister that, when the member for Griffith was ousted, the Prime Minister said that his removal was necessary because the government had lost its way and, further, that she would fix the mining tax, stop the boats and address climate change. With her mining tax in tatters, 26,000 illegal arrivals since her term began and her climate change fix being the introduction of a carbon tax she promised would never happen, will the Prime Minister explain when the government will find its way?

Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (14:40): I thank the shadow minister for his question as part of the opposition's new positive strategy of ideas and plans for the nation's future! In answer to the opposition's question: first and foremost, we have made arrangements for our nation to seize a clean energy future, to reduce carbon pollution and to make sure that we get the benefits of jobs and opportunity in the future. We have done what Prime Minister Howard intended to do before he lost the election in 2007: we have introduced a market based mechanism to price carbon, which will give our nation an emissions trading scheme—something that the Leader of the Opposition and every serving member who was here in 2007 was in favour of at the time.

Of course, what we have seen since is—as the minister would say—the most mendacious campaign in Australia's history. It is full of false representations and untruths that have been peddled to the Australian people and that have been shown time after time to be untrue. The Leader of the Opposition has not at any point indicated to the Australian people that those claims have been withdrawn. He has ceased to make them because he knows how untrue they are. The claims about job losses are wrong, the claims about astronomical increases in the cost of living are wrong, the claims about $100 roasts are wrong, the claims about Whyalla being wiped off the map are wrong and the claims that carbon pollution would just go up and up are wrong—have a look at the emissions reductions that we have seen of late. All of these claims are wrong. Today we have seen President Obama, in the state of the union address, talk about the importance in his nation of bipartisanship and a market based mechanism to deal with carbon pollution.

On the question of asylum seekers we faced months and months of negativity from the opposition, preventing this government from getting on with the job after a High Court decision that left this government—

Mrs Mirabella: So now it is our fault!

Mr Morrison interjecting

The SPEAKER: Order, the member for Indi and the member for Cook!

Ms GILLARD: with fewer powers to act than governments in the past. If the opposition was genuinely concerned about asylum seekers then it would have joined in a bipartisan effort to deal with the problem at that time. Instead, it went negative and hoped for more boats.

On the minerals resource rent tax, I stand by the proposition that—

Mr Morrison: A failure! It is an absolute failure.

The SPEAKER: The member for Cook is warned.

Ms GILLARD: the Australian public are entitled to the benefits of the mineral wealth in their grounds and that the taxation of the resources sector should be an efficient, profits based tax, not the jacking up of royalties by state Liberal governments, costing jobs—every one of them ticked by the Leader of the Opposition. If there is ever a time that the opposition wants to debate policy, let us know—we have not seen it yet. (Time expired)