Thursday, 3 March 2011
Questions without Notice
What I was saying to the member is that during any of the waves of economic reform and transformation of our economy there are people who raise fears about job losses but economic reform and economic transformation, on every occasion, have left us stronger and more prosperous than we were before, and far stronger and far more prosperous than we would have been had we tried to freeze our economy in time.
The future will be owned by those nations who are able to be nimble and adapt to a low-carbon future. I am for this nation being nimble and adapting to a low-carbon future. The course of freezing our economy in time is actually a course towards a poorer nation. It is a course towards fewer job opportunities for the constituents that the member represents in this place.
If the member does not want to trust me on these propositions then he should turn to former Prime Minister John Howard, who was honest enough to say to the Australian people that we needed to transform our economy through an emissions trading scheme. I am being as honest as he was with the Australian people. We need to transform our economy. We need to price carbon. Former Prime Minister John Howard went to the 2007 election promising that, and the commitments I have made in this place and to the Australian nation are comparable commitments. We must price carbon. We must transform our economy. We must embrace the challenges of the future, not try and run away. So, do not be led down that path by the Leader of the Opposition. Play a role in shaping the future; work with the government to price carbon.