Carbon Pricing Take Note of Answers

I rise to take note of answers by Senator Wong, particularly in light of that contribution by Senator Pratt. Baghdad Bob is back. Who could forget the Iraqi information minister standing outside the gates of Baghdad saying: ‘The Americans will never be here. We are invincible.’ And in the background two M1 Abrams tanks were rolling through while the destruction of that regime was occurring in sight of the reporters who were interviewing him. Day after day, Baghdad Bob was up there, just like the Greens and this government are, talking about all the things that their modelling and ideology are going to do.

As to setting up the economy for the future, well, most people do not like the thought of being set up. I have got to tell you, Mr Deputy President, as I look at the future, this government is indeed setting up our economy. Unfortunately, it is setting up our economy to fail. There are a couple of facts that the Labor Party might want to think about—and people in their electorates might want to think about this as well when they hear these promises being rattled out by the ALP’s Baghdad Bobs day after day—concerning green jobs. Senator Pratt talks about Europe. If you look at the study done by King Juan Carlos University in Spain, 2.2 real jobs were demolished for every green job created, and many of those green jobs were only temporary in nature during the establishment phase of programs; there were far fewer ongoing ones. The 2.2 jobs that were scrapped represent families who no longer have work. When it comes to the issue of housing and housing affordability, what kind of setting up is the Labor Party doing for families and for housing in this country?

The modelling that the government relies on has already proved to be wrong—just like Baghdad Bob’s assumptions were proved to be wrong and merely rhetoric. The government said that the cost of groceries would increase for each family by only about $40. But the Australian Food and Grocery Council has done the modelling and said that it is more like $120—three times the cost. Let us look at petrol. The Prime Minister has come out and stated that there will be no impact on petrol. Yet people dealing in the industry have issued reports highlighting that, because of all the input costs, such as the increasing cost of electricity, there will be price pressures—over $9 million to the four main refineries—and they are going to flow down to consumers.

There will be cost pressures coming through in every area of life. The government keeps on talking about its modelling. What does its modelling actually say about this tax? The government’s modelling says that, whilst the tax starts at $23 a tonne, into the future, by 2050—which is its target area—it will be $350 a tonne. If companies here are already saying that, on top of the high dollar and on top of low demand, this structural impediment to their competitiveness on a global scale will start to drive industry offshore, imagine what $350 per tonne will do, given that other countries are not moving to implement these economy-wide programs. The more industries that are driven offshore, the fewer jobs there will be in our economy. If people are concerned about jobs, housing and budgets, spare a thought for our children. What jobs will they have in the future? This government’s own modelling says that this tax is going to rise to $350 per tonne in the future. Talk about setting up our economy for the future! Setting it up for a fail is what they are doing. And for what purpose? Again, Senator Pratt talked about Europe. I draw the Senate’s attention to the report issued by UBS, the second-largest bank in Switzerland and one of the most highly regarded institutions in the world, looking at the European trading scheme that this Prime Minister loves to quote as an example of what we should be following and why we should be going down this path—the ‘right’ thing to do—for this carbon tax that would never occur under her government! UBS has said that this tax has been a complete failure, has done almost nothing to help the environment and has wasted, on the back of all kinds of rorts, some €210 billion. This government should be ashamed.

Question agreed to.