House debates

Thursday, 21 November 2013


Clean Energy Legislation (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2013; Dissent from Ruling

12:57 pm

Photo of Mark ButlerMark Butler (Port Adelaide, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water) Share this | Hansard source

but does not refer expressly to the provisions in 179(c), which provides:

A Member who is not a Minister may move an amendment to the proposal which does not increase or extend the scope of the charge proposed beyond the total already existing under any Act of Parliament.

What is the question here at issue? The question here at issue is what is the effect of the amendment moved by me on the existing act that is proposed to be amended or repealed by the government? The effect of the amendment proposed by me is to change the way in which carbon pricing works in the financial year 2014-15. What is the way in which it will change? The way in which it will change is that it will move from the fixed price that is currently set out in the legislation, described by the opposition over a long period of time as the carbon tax, to a floating price. So it moves to an emissions trading scheme. It does not bring in any additional liable entities. There is no change to scope. The only way 179(c) can be activated is an argument that it increases the charge—the charge currently set, I think, at $24.15 per tonne. That is a judgement to be made and it is a judgement that you have made, Madam Speaker, from which we greatly dissent.

This is not a new set of amendments. These are the set of amendments that we released when in government as an exposure draft before the 7 September election. The draft was subject to public consultation, and it was released with very clear statements—from then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, from then Treasurer Bowen and from myself—about Treasury's advice on the impact in 2014-15 of moving from a fixed price—the carbon tax, as the now government like to call it—to a floating price under an emissions trading scheme. Treasury's advice was very clear. Treasury's advice was that the price would move from around $24 to around $6, that it would be reduced by 75 per cent. It seems to me, although the now government refuses to release any information about the basis of their current policy; they will not release the incoming brief, which Alan Kohler has told us this morning apparently indicates that direct action, their policy, will cost $10 billion per year—

A government member interjecting

Release your incoming brief and we will know whether or it is false. The only thing we have to go on is articles from Alan Kohler.


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