Page 3540 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 18 August 2010

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Mr Seselja: Point of order, Madam Assistant Speaker. I am not sure if the “stench of hypocrisy” claim was aimed at you in some way. I am not sure if that was a reflection on the chair from Mr Rattenbury. I ask him to withdraw.

MR RATTENBURY: For the sake of clarity, on the point of order, it was not directed at you, Madam Assistant Speaker. It was directed at those opposite.

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: It should be withdrawn. It is inappropriate and unparliamentary.

MR RATTENBURY: On what basis? I seek clarification, Madam Assistant Speaker, as to on what basis it should be withdrawn.

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Because I rule that it is unparliamentary language and I am telling you to withdraw it.

MR RATTENBURY: Fine. I withdraw it. It is not much of a concern. It is withdrawn.


MR RATTENBURY: The point I am simply trying to make is that the Greens would like to reduce the cost of living pressures on Canberra families by not needing a second car.

Let us come to electricity. Mr Smyth went to that at some level. Let us take Mr Abbott’s well-known opinions about the science of climate change. Let us put those to one side, because they are really not even worth spending time on, and talk about what he wants to do on reducing carbon emissions. He does not want an emissions trading scheme. He wants no carbon tax and no burden on consumers. He wants his simple, direct action plan. That is basically taking taxpayers’ money and giving it to companies to maybe do something about climate change. It is the most inefficient way. It is a case of “rent seeker central”. It says, “Let’s see who wants to come along and apply for a government slush fund and hand it over.” It is economic rationalism. It is bizarre. It is so inefficient, coming from the party who believes that the market can find the most efficient way. It is simply bizarre from Tony Abbott. It is an absolute travesty of policy and it beggars decency.

Let us talk about electricity. One of the jokes of Mr Abbott’s climate change policy, the random “don’t give the price of carbon; give handouts to industry” policy, is that it is likely to cost more than the Greens’ policy of putting a price on carbon. In his efforts to put no additional burdens on power generation and to have no emissions trading scheme, no carbon tax and no burden on consumers, Mr Abbott has completely missed the point.

Firstly, there is the $3.32 billion direct action slush fund for industry. Secondly, the electricity industry has come out and said that prices could still rise under Tony Abbott’s plan because it offers no investment signal to any other power

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