Wednesday, 19 June 2013
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. I remind the Prime Minister of the Holden Managing Director's response when asked what would happen if the carbon tax was removed. He said:
There will be a benefit, our costs being lower in this country, no question.
Will the Prime Minister scrap the increase in the carbon tax on 1 July to show her support for the workers in manufacturing who are anxious about whether they will keep their jobs?
To member for Boothby: as the last question was answered to the member for Indi, so I answer it to him. I do ask him, as a South Australian member in this parliament, how he can sit in all good conscience and back the Leader of the Opposition's plan to rip half a billion dollars out of industry assistance, knowing as we know now from the words of Holden that, if that occurs, 2,000 people working for Holden will lose their jobs. The member has asked me a question about the jobs at Holden—
I was asked about jobs and I am answering about jobs. Let me be very clear to the member for Boothby, who really ought not to be following the Leader of the Opposition down this path, given that he represents South Australia in this place. For all of the false claims that have been made about carbon pricing and car making, the truth is that the impact of carbon pricing on car making is less than a variation of half a cent in the value of the Australian dollar—that is, it is a very minor impact. What it means is that the major impact that is weighing on car making in this country is the strength of the Australian dollar—the fact that we have seen a 50 per cent appreciation in our currency over the last few years. That means that you actually need to have sophisticated, thought-through policies about how to hold manufacturing in this country and not have our economy hollowed out. That means you need to focus on the pivotal role of car manufacturing, because car making is such a bringer of the skills and capacities that you need to sustain manufacturing generally.
Anybody who has ever walked into a manufacturing establishment and asked the workers there where they came from and where else they have worked will have met person after person who got their start and their skills in car making. That is why it is important. That is why this government has taken a co-investment approach, that is why we are working to hold the jobs at Holden and that is why we are so bitterly opposed to the plan of the member for Boothby to destroy 2,000 South Australian jobs—and his constituents ought to know it. He is standing behind the Leader of the Opposition's plan to end 2,000 jobs directly in South Australia and thousands upon thousands beyond that—something that would hurt the families of Boothby, something that would hurt the people of South Australia, something that would hurt the Australian economy and something that would bring particular devastation to those individual workers. In all good conscience, the member for Boothby should say to the Leader of the Opposition and the member for Indi that he will not support this job-destroying plan. (Time expired)