Senate debates

Thursday, 24 November 2022


Treasury Laws Amendment (Electric Car Discount) Bill 2022; Second Reading

5:59 pm

Photo of Gerard RennickGerard Rennick (Queensland, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

I too rise to speak about the Treasury Laws Amendment (Electric Car Discount) Bill 2022. I'd just like to flag that I'll be moving a second reading amendment to this bill, to do with recycling—which is very, very important—to make sure we clean up the mess that this bill will create. And I just want to reiterate Senator Brockman's words: that this is nothing but a transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich. Just this week, the Australian Financial Review came out and said that this tax break could be worth up to $30,000—$30,000, for rich people who can afford to buy an electric car. And that's going to come out of general revenue, which means that the poor, the lower-income earners, will have to pay more taxes, just to balance the budget. We've heard in here from Senator Wong—she's not here this afternoon, which is a shame—that renewables are cheaper. So can somebody tell me this: if renewables are cheaper, why do we need to give a tax break of up to $30,000 for every new EV that is bought? That is absolutely absurd.

I can tell you something: if you want to look after the environment, the best way to do that is to have a strongly growing economy. And there is nothing productive about giving a tax break on cars that are going to be driven around the inner city and might travel a couple of hundred kilometres if you're lucky. We're going to be having extension leads running out over footpaths and hanging up over trees. The stupidity! We've seen this in Sydney already, where people are trying to charge their cars on the street, with on-street parking. How dangerous is that? And for what? For nothing but a pipe dream.

These people want you to believe that they're struggling under global warming. We were told that yesterday, by the CSIRO, who came out and said that the temperature has risen by 1.47 degrees since 1910. I must admit, when I first heard that figure quoted in question time yesterday, I nearly fell out of my chair, because, just back in 2018—and I remember these numbers, just like that—the CSIRO and BOM said that the temperature had risen by one degree. So, in 2018, in the 108 years since 1910, these guys said the temperature had risen by one degree. Now they want us to believe that it has risen by another 0.47 of a degree in just the last four years. Well, I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure it isn't hotter this year. The last two years have been cooler and wetter than the prior years, 2018 to 2020. They were quite warm years, I'll accept. But, in the last couple of years, things have actually cooled off a bit here in Australia, certainly along the east coast—and even up in Cairns.

I was up in Cairns earlier this year, and it was down to seven degrees. They were complaining that they had to put jumpers on for the first time in their lifetime—that's how cold it was at the Cairns show. That had never happened before—people wearing jumpers at the Cairns show. Isn't that right, Senator Scarr?


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