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Monday, 23 February 2009
Page: 1394


Mr TURNBULL (Leader of the Opposition) (2:22 PM) —My question is addressed to the Prime Minister. I refer the Prime Minister to his decision to establish an inquiry into the choice of an emissions trading system as the central climate change policy and his decision to abandon that inquiry within a week. Why did the Prime Minister establish and then so quickly abandon that inquiry, and what potential finding of that inquiry was the Prime Minister so afraid of?


Mr RUDD (Prime Minister) —I thank the Leader of the Opposition for his question. As the Leader of the Opposition will be aware, the government’s plan for the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme has been outlined in a white paper. The government’s plan and intention remain unchanged on that—that is, to legislate consistent with the white paper. On the question of the proposed House of Representatives inquiry to which the honourable member refers, the concern of the government was that in this chamber there were early indications that the opposition would politicise the inquiry. For those reasons, we assume that if there is to be a parliamentary inquiry into these matters it will probably occur in the Senate as a matter of course.