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Tuesday, 8 November 2011
Page: 8541


Senator BOSWELL (Queensland) (15:22): I sit back here and I think about what a wonderful government this is. It has a magic pudding. It can create wealth by destroying industry. It can create jobs by going renewable, when 59 per cent of photo­voltaic cells and all of the windmills are made in China. This is absolutely a magic pudding, where you can create more jobs and increase people's wages just by introducing a carbon tax. As Senator Abetz has said, if it is so successful why don't we increase it more—and then we could create more jobs and more industry? If anyone believes in this, they believe in the tooth fairy! Quite frankly, I sit here sometimes and wonder about the nonsense that comes out of the Labor Party and I reflect on how poorly it is served by the members that it has in here. This would never have happened 15 years ago when you had good people in the Labor Party—people who had a bit of experience in the world. But, no, now we just have the union hacks here and the Labor Party has gone downhill. It is a very pale shadow of what it was.

The warning bells are already being rung. We see, for example:

SOARING power costs have helped seal the fate of Rio Tinto's struggling aluminium business, with the mining giant putting four Australian and New Zealand smelters … on the market.

It says that this is because 'power-hungry' aluminium businesses just cannot function with the increase in prices that will be caused by the carbon tax.

The very worst feature of this is that the modelling done by Treasury is based on the assumption that everyone else in the world is going to be there by 2016. The Minerals Council of Australia commissioned the Centre for International Economics to do their own modelling because they could not get the GTM modelling. When they produ­ced that new modelling, it came up with a totally different bunch of scenarios of what was going to happen. The modelling done by the Centre for International Economics says that 'domestic product will fall by $180 billion between next year and 2020'. The government's modelling said it will fall by $33 billion. The modelling then says that, by 2050, the GDP will fall by $1 trillion.

There is no modelling, so we are flying into this virtually on a mistruth. The Senate has never been told this. I have asked Senator Wong nine times and she has said nine times that she will take it on notice. She has never produced the modelling. That is why people like the Centre for International Economics have had to be commissioned to find out what will really happen. Their mod­elling also predicts that average house­hold earnings will fall by $11,360 by 2020—more than the $5,100 predicted by the government.

The report has already come out and said that the carbon tax as modelled by the gov­ernment will just not work. But we hear that by introducing a carbon tax we are going to create more jobs and create another econo­my of renewable energy—requiring a $70 rene­wable energy certificate. Next year the price of electricity will increase by 30 per cent. That is when your chickens are going to come home to roost—not so much on the increases to households but on the increases for all small business, all farms and all indus­try. That is when it is going to hit—and will there be screams and gnashing of teeth! And you think you can avoid that. You think you can get this legislation through— (Time expired)

Question agreed to.