House debates

Tuesday, 4 December 2018


Climate Change

7:45 pm

Photo of Craig KellyCraig Kelly (Hughes, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

Over the past week, we have seen riots on the streets of Paris. They started over the French government's plans to increase their despised carbon tax on the price of diesel and petrol. France's carbon tax is set to rise from 44.6 euros, set in 2008, to 55 euros next year, and will rise all the way up to 100 euros by the year 2030. The increase in this carbon tax will boost the price of petrol next year by 3.9 euro cents per litre and 7.6 euro cents per litre for diesel. The question is: could what we are seeing on the streets of Paris happen here? If we look at Labor's policies, under a future Labor government—I hate to say it—there is a true risk that what we're seeing on the streets of France could happen here.

Labor have stated that they have a policy of a 45 per cent economy-wide emissions reduction target. Forget electricity for the moment. Forget the wind turbines and the solar panels. Electricity contributes less than one-third of Australia's CO2-equivalent emissions. Australia's transport sector contributes 18 per cent. Breaking that 18 per cent down further, passenger cars are 44 per cent, light commercial vehicles are 16 per cent, buses are two per cent, rigid trucks are nine percent, articulated trucks are 14 per cent and domestic aviation is nine per cent. The question is: how are the Labor Party going to achieve a 45 per cent emissions reduction target in the transportation sector by 2030? That's remembering that 45 per cent reduction target is off 2005 levels. Off today's levels, it's actually a 55 per cent reduction target. How are Labor going to do this? Even if we took every single passenger car off the roads and we took every single aeroplane out of the sky, that would still not be enough to meet Labor's 55 per cent reduction on today's levels.

The concern is that the Labor Party have plans for a carbon tax on the price of petrol to achieve their targets. In 2013, the Climate Change Authority estimated that a 45 per cent emissions reduction target—exactly what is proposed by Labor—would require a carbon tax of $135 per tonne. That would add 40c a litre to the price of petrol. Under Labor's proposals, unless they can come up and explain what they are going to do, every time someone goes to fill up at the bowser, they will be paying 40c a litre. I have a car that takes about 70 litres to fill it up. That would cost me $28 extra in carbon tax under the Labor Party's policy. This is what the economy is facing.

On Labor's other policies to get to this target, we know they talked about having new emissions standards. The Australian Automobile Association has warned this can only increase the price of new vehicles. Increasing the price of new vehicles simply means that people will hold on to their older cars for longer, making roads less safe, adding to the cost of every single household budget. Labor's target is 105 grams of CO2 for every kilometre. To put that into some context, our current average fleet is 188 grams per kilometre. To give you an idea of what it would take to get down to 105, a Mini Cooper has 125 grams of CO2 per kilometre, and the tiny Holden Spark, a two-door, would still be above Labor's target, at 136 grams per kilometre. I may be wrong, but it is time that Labor spelt out what their policies are, how they're going to do it and what carbon taxes they are going to add to the price of petrol so voters know. (Time expired)


Tibor Majlath
Posted on 6 Dec 2018 9:38 am

Fuel tax is indexed twice per year in line with the rate of inflation, which was reintroduced by the Abbott government in 2014.

While this tax is used to fund infrastructure and to repair roads and highways, most of the tax disappears into general revenue.

The excise on unleaded petrol is currently around 41.2 cents/litre, with an additional 10% Goods and Services Tax on top of that.

We already have the equivalent of the carbon tax - it is the LNP's double-dipping GST.