Monday, 2 December 2013
Clean Energy Legislation (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2013, Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas (Import Levy) Amendment (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2013, Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas (Import Levy) (Transitional Provisions) Bill 2013, Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas (Manufacture Levy) Amendment (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2013, True-up Shortfall Levy (General) (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2013, True-up Shortfall Levy (Excise) (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2013, Climate Change Authority (Abolition) Bill 2013, Customs Tariff Amendment (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2013, Excise Tariff Amendment (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2013, Clean Energy (Income Tax Rates and Other Amendments) Bill 2013, Clean Energy Finance Corporation (Abolition) Bill 2013; First Reading
I agree with Senator Wong that we need a proper debate on this issue, and I support the proposition that a debate on this issue is absolutely important for the future of climate change analysis in this country. The Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Climate Change Authority are two important organisations in this country. The Clean Energy Finance Corporation is supporting business to invest in the technology of the future, low-carbon technology, and the Climate Change Authority is providing the analysis and overview about how we are going in relation to our various targets.
The reason why the coalition want to walk away from the Climate Change Authority is quite clear: that Direct Action will not stand up to any scrutiny or analysis whatsoever when it comes to delivering what it is claimed to deliver. The Climate Change Authority is a threat to the coalition policy, because it would analyse the failures of this so-called Direct Action policy and make it clear to the Australian public that it is an absolute con job of a policy.
There are 11 bills. When you look at the scope of those bills and you see what is happening with this Direct Action policy it is about the coalition walking away from the science that underpins the need to do something on climate change. It is about walking away from future generations, because future generations will pay the price of inactivity in relation to climate change, not only in this country but around the world. It is about walking away from market mechanisms and the economics of climate change that is clearly supported by almost every economist of any standing in this country and certainly by the overwhelming majority of climate scientists in this country.
The coalition's position is a victory of politics over science. That is the reality. It is about playing politics with scientific endeavour. It is about playing politics with the future of Australian children. It is about a victory of short-term policy over long-term policy. When it comes to trust, you only have to look at the coalition's position over the last 10 weeks—flip-flopping on education, flip-flopping on investment, flip-flopping on every issue of substance that comes before us.
Senator Birmingham interjecting—
I am not surprised that they do not want to face up to science. Senator Birmingham used to believe in climate change. He used to believe that there were real issues to be dealt with, but he has subjugated his beliefs to the absolute nonsense of Direct Action. Senator Birmingham, if you believed in the science, you would take on board—