Tuesday, 5 July 2011
I am pleased once again to have the opportunity to speak to this procedural motion. Suspensions of standing orders are moved with monotonous predictability by the Leader of the Opposition. We have heard a lot of rhetoric from the Leader of the Opposition about the importance of parliament, about the opportunity to ask questions and hear answers. But yet again question time has been cut short—another three questions have been missed out on as a result of this suspension motion. In total more than seven full question times have been lost this year as a result of suspension of standing orders motions by those opposite. They are the first opposition in Australia's history since Federation to have chosen to not even try to hold the government to account during question time.
The Leader of the Opposition exposed yet again his denial of the science of climate change when he referred in his speech today to 'so-called carbon pollution'. Yet again he could not help himself from questioning the science. We know he questions the science and has contempt for great Australian organisations such as the CSIRO. We know that he has contempt for Australia's economists, even though every respectable economist knows that we need to put a price on carbon. Indeed, the Leader of the Opposition was asked on 7.30 last night:
Can you name a single credible economist who believes that your plan will work?
He could not. He named ACCI, an organisation. And Lord Monckton does not count. He is a discredited peer, a loon from the House of Lords in the UK, who has no credibility back home and who has been dismissed by Margaret Thatcher—one of the first of the world's leaders to take action on climate change. The discredited Lord Monckton comes here and gets together with his namesake in heart across there. When the Leader of the Opposition could not name an economist, Chris Uhlmann asked:
A single economist? A name?
And, look, I'm not gonna get in the business of "Our economist is better than your economists" …
Just one will do—any one will do; a single economist who supports his position. We know that economists who support putting a price on carbon include Paul Brennan, head of economics from Citigroup Global Markets; Chris Caton, chief economist with the BT Financial Group—