Thursday, 27 June 2013
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. Given that the Australian people never had an opportunity to vote on the introduction of a carbon tax, will he commit to scrapping the carbon tax, including the planned five per cent increase on the carbon tax on Monday which he voted to reaffirm only yesterday?
I would say to the honourable member, thanking him for his question regarding carbon pricing, that carbon pricing has been a policy of this government since I went to the election in 2007. It was also, I seem to remember, the policy of those opposite. I might have had a little memory lapse there but I seem to remember Mr Howard and various other ministers including the member for Wentworth standing up to defend the importance of carbon pricing through an emissions trading scheme. The honourable members opposite will know I have long been committed to a carbon price and I would say—
The Leader of the Opposition refers to the two occasions on which he, on behalf of the opposition, voted against an emissions trading scheme in this House despite the fact that they went to the previous election with exactly such a policy. I would argue in terms of some policy consistency that those opposite have a little bit to explain on this question. Carbon pricing is now becoming more and more of a global reality. Mention has been made in this place already of the actions being taken in the People's Republic of China and this is important in terms of the debate traditionally raised by those opposite about global competitiveness.