Senate debates

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Questions without Notice

Carbon Pricing

2:27 pm

Photo of Mathias CormannMathias Cormann (WA, Liberal Party, Minister for Finance) Share this | Hansard source

I thank Senator Smith for that question. Senator Smith is, of course, a passionate advocate for stronger growth in Western Australia and for reducing the tax and regulatory burden on the Western Australian economy. As I may have shared with the chamber on one or two occasions before, the Labor-Green carbon tax pushes up the cost of electricity; it pushes up the cost of gas; it pushes up the cost of living for families; and it pushes up the cost of doing business in Western Australia and across Australia. It is doing all of that without doing anything to help reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. All it does is to help overseas businesses, which Australian businesses are competing with, including and in particular businesses in Western Australia. It is helping those overseas businesses take market share away from us and all of the emissions along with the jobs go overseas to locations where those emissions are arguably going to be higher for the same amount of economic output as they would have in Australia.

In Western Australia, Senator Smith is quite right, Bluewaters Power was slugged with a $60 million tax. Now, Senator Pratt, who has been absent from this chamber all week—I wonder where she is?—told people in Western Australia, in the lead-up to the last election, that the carbon tax had gone—that the carbon tax had been removed by Kevin Rudd and Labor. Guess what, Mr President? The carbon tax is alive and kicking. It is my solemn duty to inform the Senate that the carbon tax continues to hurt families and businesses in Western Australia and it continues to push up the cost of doing business. It has hit businesses like Woodside with a $172 million bill; BHP Worsley Alumina for $56 million; BHP Burrup, $55 million; and Yara Pilbara, $35 million on top of the $190 million to the Western Australian Electricity Generation Corporation. (Time expired)


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