Page 594 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 9 March 2011

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Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.34 to 2 pm.

Questions without notice

Environment—carbon tax

MR SESELJA: My question is to the Treasurer. On 13 May 2010 ACTCOSS gave evidence that electricity prices had increased by 23 per cent since 2005-06 while energy concessions from the ACT government had increased by 14 per cent. Since then, you have introduced a 40 per cent carbon reduction target and other policies that will add hundreds of dollars to electricity bills. Further, the federal government has announced plans to introduce a carbon tax which adds further to electricity bills. What confidence can the community have that the ACT government, with the Greens, will contain cost of living expenses for Canberrans?

MS GALLAGHER: I welcome the question from the Leader of the Opposition. I find it interesting that those opposite were supportive and in fact had legislation around a 30 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. I presume, based on the line of questioning from the Leader of the Opposition, that—

Mr Seselja: Yesterday you said we were deniers. You can’t have it both ways.

MS GALLAGHER: This is where I find your position interesting. You are now climate change deniers because you lost that debate on the 30 per cent. But how were you going to do that, Mr Seselja? Were you going to do that without any increase in costs to consumers? Was that going to be achievable in any way? Were you not going to face the same issues under that proposal that we face under our target or the issues facing the commonwealth government?

What I can tell you is that the Labor Party—and whilst I do not pretend to speak on behalf of the Greens—and the Greens party have always had as a core part of their policy platform concern for supporting those from less advantaged backgrounds—something that those opposite have not had a tremendous record on in terms of their own party’s development.

Mr Seselja interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: This is not a conversation.

MS GALLAGHER: We on this side have always been concerned around supporting those who need extra support from government. In fact, it was the fundamental difference, in the old days, between the two parties. I would say in this place it still is. Whilst you try to mask your real policy intent, what the Labor Party does as its core business is to look at how to support those people who need extra support from government.

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