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Thursday, 17 June 2010
Page: 5827

Mr MARTIN FERGUSON (Minister for Resources and Energy and Minister for Tourism) (10:53 AM) —They are the same types of assurances that the member for Groom gave the government in the lead-up to last Christmas—that he would deliver the coalition rooms in support of a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. Not only that, he made very strong public statements that the CPRS is the best thing since sliced bread. That is what he said: the best thing since sliced bread. Here we have the member for Groom—who has a bit of standing and respect in the Australian community—fully understanding the complex nature of negotiations, because he himself went through them around the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme in the lead-up to last Christmas. Unfortunately, he failed miserably. I know it took him a long time to recover because, at about the same time, a new leader was elected. And, because he dared to stand in support of fundamental change in Australia, structural reform, he was sacked.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER —Order! I am under the firm impression, as the chair, that the member for Groom asked the minister the question, not vice versa.

Mr MARTIN FERGUSON —This is not question time, with all respect, Mr Deputy Speaker.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER —The minister should address the issue.

Mr MARTIN FERGUSON —I am addressing the issue, but the question was rather colourful in nature and intent, and I intend replying in a similar way. In the same way in which the member for Groom approached detailed negotiations and meetings with the government over the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, I approach negotiations around the resource rent tax proposal: with goodwill and with good intent. I simply say to industry that, in many ways, the resolution of this and the timing are very much related to their negotiations and their capacity to engage in good faith and to assist to inform the process. I simply say to the member for Groom: do not always believe what you read in the media.