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Monday, 28 February 2011
Page: 1568

Mr JOHN COBB (1:51 PM) —The new carbon tax of Labor and the Greens will increase costs and create even more uncertainty in the agricultural sector. Irrespective of whether agriculture is being excluded from the carbon tax, farmers will be exposed to much higher input costs—whether for electricity, fuel, fertiliser, transport or machinery—which are critical to the viability of the farming sector.

Our farmers will not be able to compete with cheap imports or exports that are not subject to a price on carbon. Whether they be the orchardists in my area or anywhere around Australia, the dairy farmers from Gippsland, New South Wales, WA or Queensland, the cane growers in Bundaberg or grain growers from the central west of New South Wales all the way to WA, profitability will plummet and more farmers will be squeezed from the industry.

During the election campaign the Prime Minister said, ‘There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead,’ but she has broken her promise. The Prime Minister has broken her promise for Senator Bob Brown and the Greens, so we know that any claim that agriculture will be excluded cannot be trusted. As sure as night becomes day, Labor and the Greens will include agriculture in this great big new tax. Labor may be in government, but the Greens are in power and the Greens will bring us all down if they can.