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
I rise to make a contribution to this debate on the question that the clean energy bills may proceed without formalities. I am sure a lot of comments that I make are going to echo comments that have been made by colleagues on this side of the chamber. Let me take you back to about 18 months ago and the little bit of time prior to that when we were debating the idea of the government bringing in an emissions trading scheme. Colleagues, can you remember what happened then? I am sure you can, and I am sure those listening can remember what happened then. The Australian people looked at the government wanting to bring in an emissions trading scheme and colleagues will remember that this building went into meltdown. Our phones, our faxes and our emails went into meltdown with the Australian people saying to the Labor government that they did not want an emissions trading scheme. They absolutely knew that it was not going to achieve the desired result that the government were saying it would—that is, to change the climate. They knew that it was going to hurt them. They knew they were going to have to deal with this financially. They knew how much it was going to hurt the Australian people. They went into meltdown. The building went into meltdown. The government went into meltdown and they had a change of leadership.
That was the scenario we had when the Australian people actually knew what the government was proposing, what the government was actually planning on giving to them. Jump forward to just before the last election. The Prime Minister said to the Australian people, 'There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead.' Guess what, colleagues? The Australian people fell for it. They believed the Prime Minister. They actually believed the Prime Minister when she said, 'There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead.' Nobody jumped up through the election campaign saying, 'We don't want a carbon tax. This would be absolutely devastating for the country.' They felt there was absolutely no need to stand up and have their voice counted because the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, holding the highest office in the land, had promised the Australian people there would be no carbon tax and the Australian people believed her. It is not surprising that when it got to election time we did not see the same outpouring, the same uprising, from the Australian people that we saw when we were debating the emissions trading scheme because the Prime Minister had promised the Australian people that there would be no carbon tax. How sad is that? We have the Prime Minister of the country lying to the Australian people. I know every time we say that it touches a nerve on the other side and they say, 'It wasn't a lie.' If one of my children were to say to me, 'Mum, I haven't eaten the apple,' and 10 minutes later they were to say to me, 'Mum, I actually did eat the apple,' I would tend to think that they had told me a lie in the first instance. I do not know about other colleagues, but to me—