Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Questions without Notice
I thank the member for his question. The government understands that the cost of inaction on climate change is greater than the cost of action—for all Australians. That is why the guiding principle for the government’s response to climate change is ‘least cost’. We are deeply committed to addressing climate change by reducing domestic emissions at the very lowest cost that is possible. I think most Australians will appreciate that the cost of climate change inaction is far greater than the cost of action. This was acknowledged even by the former Prime Minister, who is a climate change sceptic. He said reducing carbon emissions will mean higher energy and petrol prices. Australians need to understand that. When it comes to climate change, we on this side of the House will look after working families. We will provide the leadership and the foresight that is required to deal with this properly by bringing in an emissions-trading system. This is terribly important in terms of business investment and to deal with this problem in the long term. That is why the government was so pleased that the Minister for Climate Change and Water was able to publish her timetable for the development of an emissions-trading system. We support a comprehensive response which protects the interests of working families.