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Wednesday, 12 August 2015
Page: 5129


Senator LINDGREN (Queensland) (15:20): I would like to respond to the question on the issue of climate change and the environment that was asked.

It is absolutely absurd that those opposite would attempt to bluff their way though the debate after questioning the credentials of the coalition when it comes to climate change. On this side of the chamber, we get it. We recognise that the environment is important. We just go and get the job done, ultimately in a responsible manner. Under the Labor Party, these fiscal bandits of the 20th century, emission reduction is simply about taxing mums and dads, small businesses and the great employment drivers of this country. When will the penny drop? I hear the mantra daily from those opposite: 'We are protecting jobs, we are the party that is about the worker and employment.' My bet is that the penny will never drop, because it will have already been spent on their electricity bills. It can be seen that those opposite, sadly, are more interested in stripping away employment opportunities by taxing—I say 'taxing' again, although they choose the words 'emissions trading scheme'—the people who create employment in this country.

These persistent rants about the government's credibility on emissions reductions are pie-in-the-sky fancifications, which seek to distract the public from the real truth about the deep policy void that exists within the Labor Party.

Our record speaks for itself. Australia will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions so they are between 26 and 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. We will halve our per capita emissions and reduce two-thirds of our emissions per dollar of GDP—more than any other major developed country, including the EU, the US and Canada. This is a responsible and achievable target. It is comparable to the targets of other developed countries and it allows our economy and jobs to grow strongly.

The target builds on Australia's excellent record. We met and beat our first Kyoto target and we expect to do the same in 2020 through the government's Direct Action Plan. Under our guidance, Australia is making a strong credible contribution to the international effort to tackle climate change and, importantly, it is achievable and sustainable. A target of 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels is prudent, proportionate and stands in clear contrast to Labor's target.

Time and time again, the Labor Party seek to disparage our proud results-driven delivery on environmental issues. If they took the time to look over their shoulders at the wreckage strewn across the landscape from bungled schemes and job-destroying taxes they may, in fact, see the light. The magic light bulb, which I spoke about, that pops out when the penny finally drops may never actually occur. This is not about them or their ideologies; it is about the people in the communities of this country who just cannot shoulder any burden from a party that just does not get it.

Let us talk about job creation and job growth. The Abbott government is about job creation and job growth. Those opposite continue with their fanciful fairy tales and semantics, while we continue to simply get on with the job. Six years of nothing—that is right—six years under Labor and they want to lay claim to being the godfathers of shipbuilding in this country when they have delivered absolutely zero. Casting my mind back to those six years, there were a lot of zeros. They came about in the way of zeros on the end of electricity bills and massive price increases to business and households from the carbon tax—a tax that destroyed jobs and growth across this nation. And, lo and behold, what is the Labor Party offering up as an entree at the next election? Another carbon tax and job desecration. We on this side of the House are the friend of the worker, the friend of business and are the party that provides the platform and environment for jobs growth. This party—and not those opposite—are champions in the House of job growth. Those who sit opposite are fiscal bandits; they just do not get it. Their idea of job creation is tax, tax, tax. Time and time again, we just keep cleaning up their mess. We could go on and talk about our achievements—there are many of them. But let us just remind those who sit across from us: we just keep cleaning up your mess.