Thursday, 28 October 2010
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer the Prime Minister to the following statement regarding the impact of a carbon price on electricity prices over and above any other electricity price rises which says:
Treasury advice to the government is that prices will rise by seven per cent in 2011-12 and 12 per cent in 2012-13.
Does the Prime Minister agree or disagree with the statement by the member for Griffith in this House in February this year?
I thank the member for his question and presume he is referring to some documents associated with modelling the effects of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. Can I say to the member who has asked the question: in this parliament we are working in good faith through a Multi-Party Climate Change Committee to look at the question of pricing carbon. I know that the member who asked the question has devoted a considerable portion of his life to studying and analysing these questions and writing a thesis on them, so I presume he is someone who probably believes that you need to price carbon and he probably has a view about the mechanisms for doing it. Of course, the purpose of the Multi-Party Climate Change Committee is to bring together people of goodwill who are—
Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order on a question of relevance. The Prime Minister was asked whether or not she agreed with the member for Griffith and his quoting of Treasury figures.
I indicated that obviously modelling associated with the CPRS was being quoted, of course. Then for the future—and I presume the opposition has some passing interest in the future, though by their conduct that is hard to pick—the question of carbon pricing will be dealt with by the Multi-Party Climate Change Committee that will work through it, in good faith, to look at various options. Obviously, the government will then make decisions in relation to the question.
I say to the member who asked the question—who I believe knows that we do as a nation have to face up to the question of pricing carbon—that we do as a nation have to work through the best ways of doing that. I think the member probably does believe that. It is a pity that he is hostage to an anti-reform opposition that would prefer to come into this parliament and play politics rather than make a positive and constructive contribution to a major debate in this nation.
I say to the member who has asked the question: we will continue to build the nation; we will continue to work through the economic reform questions the nation needs addressed. It will not be easy. There will be some difficult moments along the way, but we will do it because that is in the best interests of the Australian people. Those opposite are indicating by their conduct, day by day, that they would prefer to look for political advantage, they would prefer to be known as the wreckers of reform and, if that leaves us a poorer nation, then they are prepared to make Australian families pay that price. It is a despicable way of approaching politics.