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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 5 Hansard (1 May) . . Page.. 1740..

In accordance with standing order 79, I have determined that the matter proposed by Mr Seselja be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

The cost impact of the carbon tax on Canberrans.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (4.40): It is my pleasure to bring this matter of great public importance to the Assembly's attention today. Let us be clear: cost of living pressures are one of the most important issues facing Canberrans and one of the most important issues facing us as an Assembly. These cost of living pressures have gotten much, much worse under this government. After a decade of Labor and after nearly four years of a Labor-Greens alliance we have seen the cost of living for the things people need go through the roof. Rents, rates, water, electricity—the things we need in Canberra—have been sky rocketing in price under ACT Labor.

It is an unfortunate fact of life that the Labor Party has, it seems, done all it can to increase the cost of living for Canberra families. The carbon tax will be another hit on the families of Canberra. The carbon tax represents another assault on their cost of living, an assault which is wholly and solely supported by Katy Gallagher and by her government. They are supporters of this carbon tax. They are supporters of the price hit that will occur for Canberra families. They do not seem to care that Canberra families will not only face all of these costs but that, at $23 a tonne—which is what the carbon tax has been set at—we are asking Australians to do much more than Europe, much more than the United States, much more than Asia. We are asking Australians to fork out the bill, to affect our economy and to cut the cost of living here for no improvement to the environment.

Let us have a look at the impact when it comes to electricity prices. That is one of the ways but by no means the only way that Canberra families will feel it, because there will be direct and then indirect costs. It is interesting; you occasionally get a bit of honesty from this government. It always jumps out at you when you get honesty from ACT Labor. I was surprised at the honesty in Mr Corbell's explanatory statement for his energy efficiency bill. This must have been some hardworking, conscientious, honest, diligent bureaucrat who wrote this down and someone in Mr Corbell's office must have missed it when they were editing this explanatory statement.

What it goes to is just how much of an impact we are going to see on Canberra families as a result of this carbon tax. The explanatory statement to the energy efficiency bill says:

The ACT's residential sector is among the most energy intensive in Australia meaning that it has a relatively high exposure to rising energy prices, including the impact of a national carbon price.

There it is; Mr Corbell himself is acknowledging that our residential sector is amongst the most energy intensive in Australia. We have highlighted this in public debate. We have highlighted the fact that Canberra has very harsh, cold winters and often, though this summer was an exception, very hot, dry summers. So we have a need for air conditioning in the summer and a lot of heating in the winter and indeed in much of

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