Monday, 18 June 2012
Questions without Notice
I would like to thank the member for Makin for his question. Far from going it alone on carbon pricing, by next year Australia will be one of more than 50 jurisdictions with emissions trading schemes. In fact, 94 per cent of OECD members have or are developing emissions trading schemes at either the national or the subnational level. The Gillard government, of course, has had the wisdom and the foresight to anticipate these developments and implement an Australian emissions trading scheme as promised by the Howard government, supported at the time by the now Leader of the Opposition. Australia's scheme is going to position our country to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the inevitable global transition to a clean energy future, and that will enable our businesses to participate in international carbon markets, a very important opportunity. Indeed, the anti-price-gouging measures announced by the ACCC will help ensure our businesses do not have their competitiveness impaired by unscrupulous business behaviour.
There are threats to replace this market based mechanism with a centrally planned direct action scheme, and those threats are undermining business confidence. The coalition is supporting a central planning scheme and Labor is supporting a market based mechanism, so there is the irony. All of this is being done not because of a commitment to central planning—although I sometimes suspect the opposition leader has one of those—but for the basest of political motives and for that irresistible urge on the part of the opposition leader to say no, no, no. The opposition leader is a self-declared weathervane on climate change. He supported an ETS. He supported a carbon tax. He said that climate change was 'crap' and he is now supporting central planning.
Businesses want certainty about climate change policy, not weathervane economics. They certainly do not need the opposition leader and the shadow Treasurer talking down the economy. There were good figures out a couple of weeks ago. What do we have? 'Glum and Glummer' over there always talking down the economy. The only way of getting business certainty is to support the Gillard government's policy over the rank political opportunism of the Leader of the Opposition. Say goodnight, Glum and Glummer.