8 November 2011
Topics: Senate passage of the carbon tax
Obviously today is an extremely sad day for Australia. The whole prospect that somehow we can single-handedly as a nation by ourselves change the temperature of the globe is obviously ridiculous. We have found today that the reason that Greens are in such a bunrush is that they have to go up to Durban and meet up with Leonardo Di Caprio, Angelina Jolie, and Bono from U2, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Therefore we can explain to the people of Blacktown, of Cabramatta, of Ipswich, of Townsville, of Rockhampton, that the reason they are going to pay more for every section of their life, whether it is cooking dinner, whether it is washing their clothes, whether it is keeping themselves warm, or keeping themselves cool, is because we have to run to the agenda of the Greens.
The whole prospect that somehow, in the international race of commerce that Australia will turn up and decide single-handedly to start the race hopping and hope that in some mechanism we somehow beat everybody else in the race, or alternatively create such a statement that other people as stupid as us to start hopping with us, is absurd. This will really hurt the people of regional Australia, everything they do. Whether it is the steel purlins and trusses in the sheds, whether it is the electricity that run their welder, whether it is the domestic needs of people in their house, whether it is fertiliser they use, whether it is on the transport, all of these issues become part of a carbon tax.
This is a broad based consumption tax, an attack on every household via every power point in their house. It does nothing to change the temperature of the globe but opens every household up to its complete avenue via the powerlines to the Australian Taxation Office. At the Australian Taxation Office they will get that money, they will churn it, they will burn it, they will blow it up but they will not change the temperature of the globe.
We now have the prospect of those who are doing it tough have to deal with this insult that somehow the government believes that the price they pay for power is too cheap. It is the absolute epitome of a government that is distracted by the Greens and is distracted away from the core issues when they don't recognise that the cost of living is the driving force in Australia today. That people are struggling to pay the power, they are struggling to pay for food, they don't need any more incentives to try and save money. They have got enough. Carbon is not free for them, it is terribly expensive.
We might also clearly pose our mind to exactly what has happened. How did we get to this point? We came to this point because the Australian people took the Prime Minister on trust that she would be good for her word and not introduce a carbon tax. Now we have heard it ad nauseum but it is the reality. The government lied. By reason of that lie they got themselves in office and now that lie has been supported by all those who voted for it.
This is a very bad and sad day for Australia.
What I can say is that right from the word go the National party has been consistent. We have stated our case against the ETS and fought that fight and won. We have stated our case against the carbon tax and at this point in time it is not a defeat it is an adjournment to the next episode.
We will go to the next election being forthright absolutely that it is fundamental in every essence of what we are that we will rid our nation of this ridiculous tax because Australians can't afford it and we will not put any more manufacturing workers out of a job by reason that if they can't afford the power, what are we going to give up on? Are we going to reduce the price of their wages to try and remain competitive?
So we will use every sinew of our body to try and make sure that what we do for our nation is the responsible thing. That is to get rid of this tax because it is not going to affect the climate it is just going to make people poorer.
I will now hand over to my deputy and other members of the team.
FIONA NASH: As Nationals our whole purpose is to fight for regional Australia. Regional Australians are going to be hit harder by this carbon tax than anyone else across this country.
Now this Prime Minister Julia Gillard before the last election said there would be no carbon tax under a government I lead. Today we have seen Julia Gillard come good on that lie to the Australian people and give the Australian people a carbon tax.
Now that is just simply wrong. As Nationals we will not stand by and watch regional Australia be hurt by this carbon tax. We are absolutely committed to rescinding this carbon tax in government.
The people know across this country that this carbon tax is based on a lie the Prime Minister told the Australian people. And they also know that this carbon tax is not going to change the climate one little bit.
RON BOSWELL: It is ironical that this carbon tax got through on a vote which had the lowest Labor party vote in Australia, 8 per cent. It would not have gone through if Mr Windsor had opposed it. He is going to pay a very heavy price for that.
This is the greatest sell out. Windsor is the greatest sell out since Judas Iscariot's 30 pieces of silver.
NIGEL SCULLION: From time to time this country and around the world we see democracy falter but I think we very rarely see it collapse where some 12 per cent of the vote dictates what the rest of Australia does. Sixty per cent of people in the polls today say they don’t want a carbon tax and this government has run forward because this government is handcuffed to the fundamentalism of the Greens. The great sadness in my heart today though is that people will be impacted before this government changes and we can rescind this awful tax. The people who will be impacted are those who can be impacted the least. There are those who live furthest away from the cities. There are those who are already invariably unemployed or in the dreadful cycle of welfare poverty and many of them sadly are my constituents, constituents of certainly Lingiari, our first Australians who invariably are locked in the cycle of poverty. They aren’t able to go and find more funds to be able to deal with the highest increases in grocery prices, with the highest increases in electricity prices and sadly over the last few days this government has trodden roughshod over a process that might have been able to ventilate and might have been able to amend this awful tax to ensure that our first Australians particularly aren’t as impacted as much as they will be.
BARNABY JOYCE – We will take a few questions and I know you have quite a few people to talk to and you have also got a storm coming, not that I would be too worried about raining on the Greens' parade, so to speak.
JOURNALIST – Isn’t it time you conceded defeat?
BARNABY JOYCE – No it’s not, absolutely not, our people would hold us in absolute contempt if we were step back from the battle that is before us. We will absolutely, excuse the operatics, "gird our loins" because we are going to make sure this is taken to the election. The Australian people have a right to have a referendum on this, it is still coming, it is the election and at the election they will have the chance to have their say as to whether our nation should be run by the Australian Greens or run by the Australian people, as to whether we should be guided by Al Gore or guided by the promises our Prime Minister makes.
JOURNALIST – Senator, the comment from Ms Gillard the day before the last election promising not to introduce any of this sort of legislation, don’t all politicians lie at times?
BARNABY JOYCE – I think that that was a fundamental and core promise that is quite obviously one of the warrants that people made their decision to cast their ballot on. There are so many people, and if you can see it in the polling right now, that if they had known that, they would have elected a different government. And therefore you have fraudulently acted against the Australian people. And it’s not a decision on whether you believe in global warming or you don’t, that is not the issue. People believed in the respect of the office, the only reason people will follow the government through some of the hardest times in the nation’s history, or a nation’s future, is that they respect the office bearer, they think the office bearer is a person of dignity, a person who can be believed and when they sully that office position, they do it not only for themselves but for the whole of our nation and they bring the whole of our parliament into contempt.
FIONA NASH – Can I just add to that as well, the Prime Minister has every opportunity not to start this carbon tax until after the next election. Regardless of whether people think she lied before the last election or she didn’t, the Australian people believed that this government wasn’t going to bring in a carbon tax. All the Prime Minister had to do is wait until after the next election before this carbon tax started, she chose not to do that, that’s up to her.
BARNABY JOYCE – That impending storm is a sign of things to come.