Monday, 14 July 2014
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. Last week Woolworths said in relation to the carbon price: 'Just as prices didn't increase when the tax was introduced, we don't expect any substantial change should it be repealed.' Will the Prime Minister stand by his promise and guarantee that grocery prices will now fall $10 a week?
Why won't the Leader of the Opposition stand by his promise and terminate the carbon tax? What kind of a fibber is the Leader of the Opposition when he refuses to terminate the carbon tax he repeatedly promised?
Mr Burke interjecting—
The Manager of Opposition Business will resume his seat. His last point of order was a clear breach of the standing orders. If this one is, then I will not be taking too much notice of his standing. The Prime Minister has the call.
Let me quote, for the benefit of the Leader of the Opposition, the Chairman of the ACCC, Rod Sims, who said of the repeal of the carbon tax:
What went up will clearly come down when you take away the carbon price.
And for the benefit of the Leader of the Opposition, again let me quote Rod Sims:
It's not a massively complicated process. Electricity prices went up fairly quickly on the way up and they will go down fairly immediately on the way down.
So there it is: what went up with the carbon tax will come down when the carbon tax comes off. And I say to the Leader of the Opposition: come out of denial, do after the election what you said you would do before the election and terminate the carbon tax.
It is a very good question. In fact, a couple of weeks ago the Minister for Trade and I met with the most senior economic minister in China, and in his opening statement he said how important it was for Australia to abolish the carbon tax and the mining tax. The most senior economic minister in China, who is responsible for dealing with carbon emissions in China, praised Australia's abolition of the carbon tax. And I say to you: that reflects the importance to the economy of the abolition of the carbon tax, because while it remains in place it costs Australia $11 million every day. Repealing the carbon tax will not only save business $85 million a year but it will also boost competitiveness for 76,000 entities that will no longer have to comply with a carbon tax.
The bottom line is we will strengthen the Australian economy by abolishing the carbon tax, and that means more jobs and better economic security. It makes us a more competitive nation. It was identified by the Prime Minister of Canada, when he and this Prime Minister jointly stated how important it was to get rid of carbon tax.
Stephen Harper in case you do not know. I say to the Leader of the Opposition: he must recognise that next Wednesday is a historic day. This coming Wednesday is a historic day not because it is the anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11—or the birth of the parking meter for those who are interested in trivia; next Wednesday is the first anniversary of the Townsville termination. That was the famous press conference where the then Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, and the member for McMahon stood there and said, 'Today is the day the Labor Party is terminating the carbon tax.' The Townsville termination. We cannot forget that moment. The member for McMahon was there: he was like Robin standing next to Batman, wearing the face mask, claiming, 'I'll be right there with you, Batman.' In fact, the only termination the Leader of the Opposition is familiar with is the termination of Julia Gillard, the termination of Kevin Rudd the first time, and he put Kevin Rudd back into the prime ministership to terminate the carbon tax.
Yet, today is going to be the third day that the Labor Party has indeed voted against the termination of the carbon tax. So they said before the election that they would terminate the carbon tax, and on every occasion since the election they have voted to keep the carbon tax. There is one lesson we can get out of this, one thing you can be absolutely sure of—
Ms Butler interjecting—
Madam Speaker, my question is to the Prime Minister. On 30 May 2011 the then opposition leader said that the carbon tax would mean 'a $6,000 increase in the price of a new home'. Will the Prime Minister stand by his promise and guarantee that the prices of new homes will fall by $6,000?
Madam Speaker, of course I stand by my statements, and, yes, the cost of building a new home will fall very significantly once the carbon tax is abolished. The Leader of the Opposition knows this very well—
Ms Butler interjecting—
because before the last election, the Leader of the Opposition and his colleagues put out a brochure all around Australia. 'Kevin Rudd and Labor remove the carbon tax'. It is like they ended the deficit as well. They abolished the carbon tax like they ended the deficit.
But here it is, a document that the Labor Party distributed right around Australia, and they make all sorts of claims. Interest rates, they say they reduced those—I doubt that. School expenses, they say they reduced—well I certainly doubt that!
Child care they claim is '50 per cent off'; in fact, childcare costs rose by 73 per cent during the life of the former government. And then it says, 'Carbon tax abolished'.' I am not making it up. Here it is in black and white; a brochure from Kevin Rudd and the Labor Party. It is here in red, white and blue in fact!
Mr Shorten interjecting—
It is here in red, white and blue from Kevin Rudd and the Labor Party: 'Carbon tax abolished'. Kevin Rudd and Labor removed the carbon tax! Well, I do not know what they have been doing since the election. If they removed the carbon tax since the election, why have they been voting for it after the election—three times? Methinks I thought the cock crowed! Three times this morning! Really and truly, hypocrisy, thy name is Labor: in denial about the election result, in denial about the debt and deficit disaster and in denial about the damage the carbon tax does. I table, for the benefit of members opposite, this document.
Mr Perrett interjecting—