Wednesday, 12 October 2011
Clean Energy Bill 2011, Clean Energy (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2011, Clean Energy (Income Tax Rates Amendments) Bill 2011, Clean Energy (Household Assistance Amendments) Bill 2011, Clean Energy (Tax Laws Amendments) Bill 2011, Clean Energy (Fuel Tax Legislation Amendment) Bill 2011, Clean Energy (Customs Tariff Amendment) Bill 2011, Clean Energy (Excise Tariff Legislation Amendment) Bill 2011, Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas (Import Levy) Amendment Bill 2011, Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas (Manufacture Levy) Amendment Bill 2011, Clean Energy (Unit Shortfall Charge — General) Bill 2011, Clean Energy (Unit Issue Charge — Auctions) Bill 2011, Clean Energy (Unit Issue Charge — Fixed Charge) Bill 2011, Clean Energy (International Unit Surrender Charge) Bill 2011, Clean Energy (Charges — Customs) Bill 2011, Clean Energy (Charges — Excise) Bill 2011, Clean Energy Regulator Bill 2011, Climate Change Authority Bill 2011; First Reading
Senator Williams raises the name of Mr Windsor, the member for New England, which is a very interesting point as well. Because those people who get themselves to this parliament as Independents have two great duties, I would suggest. The first is to reflect and represent the wishes of their electorate, because they say they are not beholden to any party and therefore they can do exactly what the wishes of their electorates dictate. I would also have thought the role of an Independent is to keep the government honest. Mr Windsor, the member for New England and Mr Oakeshott, the member for Lyne, are failing in both those duties. They know that their electorates overwhelmingly are opposed to a carbon tax—overwhelmingly. Senator Williams presented the result of a survey earlier today to this parliament, showing the overwhelming feeling in the electorates of New England and Lyne in relation to the carbon tax. The members have completely discarded the wish of their electors, and they are now in lockstep with a government that has lost the trust of the Australian people. And of course they have not kept the government honest, as one would have imagined Independents would seek to do. So we have a situation where the Australian people are rightly asking, 'What has happened in our democracy when a Prime Minister can stare down the lens of a TV camera to have it broadcast into every home in Australia that she will not introduce a carbon tax?' And when we say, 'Don't trust them,' we are accused of being hysterical. Well, today we have proven to have been historical, because history has now shown that that is exactly what Labor was going to do and that is exactly what Labor has done. Yet Mr Swan still parades around, having deceived the Australian people, as the 'world's greatest Treasurer'. But so was Mr Keating and so were Lehman Bros given gongs by this international organisation. The fact that Mr Costello never got it I think speaks for itself. I would prefer to be on Mr Costello's side in relation to that than Mr Keating, Mr Swan and Lehman Bros and other organisations that have failed.
During this debate from time to time we are accused of being negative. Let us be quite clear on this. When we say 'no' to deceit we say 'yes' to integrity in government. When we say 'no' to a carbon tax we say 'yes' to manufacturing jobs, we say 'yes' to agricultural jobs, we say 'yes' to decreasing the cost of living pressures that are faced by Australian people. So when people on the other side and some in the media seek to assert that the coalition has to be more positive, how much more positive can you be than trying to keep a government honest and attuned to its election promises? How much more positive can you be than condemning the deceit of the Labor Party and seeking to have integrity in government? How much more positive can you be than seeking to protect manufacturing jobs and agricultural jobs in Australia? How much more positive can you be than trying to decrease the cost of living pressures that Australians face?
So why this indecent haste to throw in 19 bills and have them all dealt with as one single package? I think we know the reason why, Mr Deputy President: because Labor wants to parade at Durban as the one country with a legislated scheme. That was Labor's policy under Mr Rudd, if you recall: the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme had to be legislated so that we could be the performing clowns at Copenhagen. That was the idea, that we would be the only country at Copenhagen with a legislated scheme. Not content with having failed to be the clowns at Copenhagen, they now want to be the dunces of Durban with a piece of legislation and throwing that around and saying, 'How clever are we?'
It was interesting that during question time today the President welcomed a delegation from the Japanese parliament. He also welcomed a delegation from the United States. I could not help but ask myself, albeit somewhat audibly, I confess: where is the Japanese carbon tax?