Senate debates

Monday, 9 December 2013

Questions without Notice: Take Note of Answers

Automotive Industry

3:19 pm

Photo of Dean SmithDean Smith (WA, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

If you are a South Australian, you can find no comfort whatsoever in the Labor Party opposition's defence of the Australian car industry or, by extension, the workers in South Australia. Let us be very clear. The effort by the Australian Labor Party to talk about the car industry is really an effort to disguise their carbon tax position. We heard from Senator Colbeck that the carbon tax imposes a $400 production cost on Australian cars. The carbon tax does not discriminate; it applies everywhere across the country, so it is just as important for South Australians to eliminate the carbon tax as it is for Western Australians in my home state. So let us be very clear. The Labor Party's effort to talk about cars is really an effort to hide from the carbon tax.

Why would the Labor Party today want to hide from the carbon tax? Let us just think about what the Labor Party said recently about its carbon tax position. Wayne Swan, on 15 August 2010, said:

No it's not possible that we're bringing in the carbon tax, that is a hysterically inaccurate claim being made by the Coalition.

What did we see under the previous, Labor government? A carbon tax. What did former Prime Minister Julia Gillard say? She said, 'There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead.' Just in case you thought that that was a historical position, let us look at what the Labor Party was saying in this month of this year about the carbon tax. Let us go to the South Australian House of Representatives member Mr Butler:

It is all well and good to say that you want to terminate the carbon tax, the relatively high price on carbon immediately. On that we agree.

Who said that? The South Australian opposition spokesman Mark Butler. Let us look at what the House of Representatives member Richard Marles said—oh, there is silence on the opposition side. Let me speak clearly so you can all hear. Mr Marles said:

We do need to acknowledge the fact that Tony Abbott won the election and we lost, and we need to face that reality and questions of mandate are issues that we need to consider and where I completely agree with Nick Champion is that we do need to be choosing our battles very carefully when we are in opposition.

What did Nick Champion say, you ask me?


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