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Wednesday, 2 March 2011
Page: 2102


Mr HOCKEY (2:26 PM) —My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, how many jobs will be created and how many jobs will be lost as a result of the government’s carbon tax?


Mr SWAN (Treasurer) —The shadow Treasurer has had many positions on climate change.

Opposition members interjecting—


The SPEAKER —Order! The Treasurer has the call.


Mr SWAN —He claims to be principled. He believed in climate change and a market based approach only over a year ago. He no longer believes in it. For all of the reasons that the shadow Treasurer believed in a market approach to climate change, this government believes in a market approach to climate change.

Opposition members interjecting—


The SPEAKER —Order! The Treasurer will come to the question.


Mr SWAN —What we know is that, if we are going to create the jobs of the future, if we are going to drive investment—

Opposition members interjecting—


The SPEAKER —Order! The Treasurer will resume his seat until the House comes to order. There are plenty of people that seem to think they know what the Treasurer is actually saying in his response. I cannot hear him above the hubbub. The Treasurer has the call. He will respond to the question.


Mr SWAN —Yes, Mr Speaker. What every single piece of economic modelling has shown about climate change, what the Stern report showed about climate change and what the Treasury modelling has shown about climate change is that the cost of inaction is far greater—


Mrs Bronwyn Bishop —Mr Speaker, on a point of order: on page 554 of the House of Representatives Practice it is quoted that the Procedure Committee said that we would only see a change on the question of relevance if there was a change of attitude, which we were meant to see with the new paradigm. Clearly that question, which was supposed to deal with the effect of the tax and jobs, is not being answered by the Treasurer and, unless we are operating under the old paradigm, he is out of order.


The SPEAKER —The member for Mackellar will resume her place. I had indicated to the Treasurer that he would respond to the question. The words that he had uttered before the member for Mackellar got to her feet to approach the dispatch box with her point of order were actually two reports relevant to the question. I then was listening to make sure that he was quoting from those reports something relevant to the question—a very pre-emptive point of order. The Treasurer has the call. He understands the necessity for him to be directly relevant to the question. He had a very long preamble that was not helpful, but he is now responding to the question.


Mr SWAN —Introducing an emissions trading scheme is all about creating the jobs of the future, all about investment in renewable energy and the jobs that come with it. It is all about jobs—because, if we do not deal with carbon emissions, we will reduce jobs in our communities. We will smash our future prosperity if we do not put in place the right price signals in our economy. So having an emissions trading scheme is all about job creation and facing up to the challenge of carbon emissions so we do not pass on to our children and our grandchildren an unsustainable debt and an unsustainable burden. This is all about jobs for the future. And where could they be? I will just quote some modelling from the Climate Institute on renewable energy: in New South Wales, up to 7,000 new power sector jobs; in Queensland, close to 6,300 new power sector jobs; in Victoria, 6,800 new power sector jobs; and so on.

What we are doing here is making our economy more efficient, and we do it by charging the polluters and by assisting households and industry. We are driving investment into renewable energy and into more and better technologies. They all create the jobs of the future. But those opposite do not understand this, because when it comes to climate change the Leader of the Opposition is a flat-earther. He is a climate change sceptic—


The SPEAKER —Order! The Treasurer will not debate the question.


Mr SWAN —He has turned his back on the future. On this side of the House we understand the great challenge of the 21st century, which is to drive investment in renewable energy to prepare our industries and our people for a carbon constrained future. By driving investment in that way we create the jobs of the future. We will not, like those opposite, turn our backs on the future.


Mr HOCKEY (2:32 PM) —Mr President, I ask a supplementary question. Can the Treasurer confirm that the report that he just referred to by the Climate Institute did its modelling based on a carbon price of $45 a tonne?

Opposition members interjecting—


The SPEAKER —Order! We will continue when the House comes to order. The Treasurer.


Mr SWAN (Treasurer) —Sloppy, Joe, very sloppy. It does it on a range of prices. This just exposes the exaggeration by those opposite. They will come in here and say anything and do anything. They will say the earth is flat. They deny the science of climate change and they deny the economics of climate change. Very, very sloppy.


Mr Hockey —Mr Speaker, on a point of order: I ask the Treasurer to table the report that he was quoting from.


The SPEAKER —Was the Treasurer quoting from a document?


Mr Swan —Yes.


The SPEAKER —Is the document confidential?


Mr Swan —Yes.

Opposition members interjecting—


The SPEAKER —Order! Order!

Opposition members interjecting—


The SPEAKER —Order!