Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Monday, 28 February 2011
Page: 1574

Ms JULIE BISHOP (2:17 PM) —My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer the Prime Minister to the minutes of the special caucus meeting of 24 June 2010 and I quote from then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s address to ALP colleagues:

As you know, I changed our position on the emissions trading scheme, and I’m responsible for that change in position. I wish to place on record here that Lindsay Tanner and Penny Wong strongly argued to me against taking that position. Equally strong was the advice from Wayne and Julia that the emissions trading scheme policy had to be abandoned.

Why did you advise the ex Prime Minister to abandon the emissions trading scheme in 2010 when you are now proposing to introduce a carbon tax? (Time expired)

Ms GILLARD (Prime Minister) —I thank the Deputy Leader of the Opposition for her question. It enables me to say that the Liberal Party are the party of the past—mired in it as they are—whilst we talk about the future. It is not surprising they gave this question to the Deputy Leader of the Opposition because, whenever I have a casual word with one of her backbench colleagues, they say she is history. So it is no surprise that they have given her the question that is about history because they all know she is history.

I have always believed that climate change is real, that it is caused by human induced activity, that in order to cut carbon pollution we need to price carbon and that the most efficient way of doing that is through a market based mechanism—and through the carbon pricing mechanism I announced last week we will do precisely that. During the time I have had those beliefs day after day, hour after hour, week after week, month after month, there has been the Leader of the Opposition. He accepts the science? No. It is ‘absolute crap’. He believes in pricing carbon? No, he does not believe in pricing carbon. Yes, he believes in pricing carbon? No, he does not believe in pricing carbon. The only thing the Leader of the Opposition has ever stood for in this debate is what he believes to be the political interests of the Liberal Party. That is not good enough for someone who contends to be Prime Minister in this country. That is not good enough for someone with the responsibility of national leadership on their shoulders.

What Australians send us here to do is to take charge of the issues that are most important to this country’s future. I am doing that job. The government is doing that job. The Leader of the Opposition is incapable of doing it and he shows it day after day.

Ms JULIE BISHOP —Mr Speaker, I ask a supplementary question to the Prime Minister to follow on from the last question: if Kevin Rudd could not trust her, why should the Australian people?

Honourable members interjecting—

The SPEAKER —Order! The House will come to order!

Ms GILLARD (Prime Minister) —Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I suggest Australians rush to their kitchens and check that their spoons aren’t bent after that performance!

What I would say to the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, on the question of who Australians can trust to deal with the big issues, is let us just go through the scoreboard. Tackling climate change, pricing carbon through an efficient mechanism and assisting households along the way? Mired in the past and division. Building the National Broadband Network so we have the jobs of the future? Trying to wreck the National Broadband Network. Delivering health reform? Trying to wreck health reform. Delivering education reform to overcome the days of neglect overseen by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition? Trying to wreck education reform. Rebuilding the country with a responsible financing package—

Mr Abbott —Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order on direct relevance. The Prime Minister is talking about everything except the trust that people should have in the Prime Minister of this country.

Government members interjecting—

The SPEAKER —The House will come to order. The Prime Minister has the call.

Ms GILLARD —Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I can’t wait for a rock solid, iron-clad guarantee from the Leader of the Opposition—I really can’t wait for one! I was talking about who Australians could trust to deal with the issues this nation has to get right if we are to be a prosperous country in the future, if we are to have the jobs of the future, if we are to have the health services we want in the future, if we are to give every Australian child a chance in the future, if we are going to give Australians the benefits and dignity of work and if we are going to be a peaceful and multicultural country.

Ms Julie Bishop interjecting

Ms GILLARD —I would suggest to the Deputy Leader of the Opposition that, rather than screaming interjections, she should reflect on her deep failure to contribute to us being a multicultural country when she let One Nation write the economic policy of the opposition.

The SPEAKER —Order! The Prime Minister will refer to the question. Has the Prime Minister concluded?

Ms GILLARD —Yes, Mr Speaker.