Interview with Judith Ireland - Sydney Morning Herald - Wednesday 9th July 2014


        I wondered if you could just explain to me why you voted for Senator Xenophon’s Amendment?

         Have you read the Amendment?

Q         I have read it yes

A          I think it’s a good idea that’s why I voted for it

        Have you spoken – was this a surprise to the Government side?

A          Well it was a surprise to me. I wasn’t aware until the previous division when Senator Xenophon handed me a copy of his Amendment.  I wasn’t aware of the Amendment, it hadn’t been discussed by the Coalition Party Room.  He showed it to me and the division was called immediately. I had 60 seconds to make a decision and if needed, to move. I thought it was a good idea and so I voted for it

Q         And the fact that your fellow senators on the government side were voting the other way clearly didn’t impact upon your decision making at this point in time

         Look I’m elected to represent the people of Queensland.  One of the big issues in Queensland and I suspect elsewhere, is the price of electricity.  In fact that’s one of the reasons why we’re abolishing the Carbon Tax which I totally support.  Senator Xenophon’s motion seemed imminently fair and reasonable and wouldn’t have cost the government anything to review the National Electricity Rules and I simply cannot understand why our people didn’t support that and I’m going to try and find out.  I am going to go and take part in the committee stage to see what I can find out about that

        Senator, Senator Xenophon’s Amendment also made the point that the carbon price is not solely responsible for the rise in electricity prices and that does seem to go against the argument that the government, the coalition been making in the lead up to this repeal that we really need to get rid of the carbon tax to bring down electricity prices.  Do you think that Senator Xenophon’s Amendment undermines the government’s argument of justification at all for getting rid of the carbon price?

A          Not at all and I will be the first one to support the abolition of the carbon tax.  As I have from day one.

        Okay well thank you for explaining that to me is there anything else that you want to add or want to foreshadow about the committee stage coming up

         No

Q         Okay well thanks for taking my call I really appreciate it

A          That’s okay thank you

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