Government Advertising, Carbon Pricing

Senator IAN MACDONALD (Queensland) (15:33): Senator Singh's contribution to this debate was typical of the deceitful and dishonest approach by the Australian Labor Party to most things these days. Senator Singh claimed that this report of the ANAO criticised Mr Abbott. I challenge her, by way of interjection, to identify for me in the ANAO report where that had occurred. She could not do it because it did not happen, and it is typical of the deceit and dishonesty of the ALP to continue to verbal the Auditor-General on that particular aspect. Indeed, the Auditor-General's report clearly shows that the Labor Party has been caught at it again.

I will give some advice to the Labor Party. You can spend as much money as you likeit will never be your own, of course; it will be the taxpayers' money, because one thing the Labor Party is good at is spending someone else's money. But let me give you this advice: it does not matter how much money you throw at spin and deceit, it does not work on the Australian people. The Australian people are not mugs, in spite of what the Labor Party think of them. They know that this carbon tax is an absolute crock. Most Australians know, without a very expensive advertising campaign, that the climate of the world is changing and most of them understand that it has been changing for eonsfor millions and millions of years. As I have always said, of course the climate is changing, and all Australians know that it has. But is it the fault of humans that this is happening That, to me, is a question on which leading scientists every_where have different views.

On that point I just might mention that Mr Bill Kininmonth, who was a director of climate change in the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and is a very distinguished Australian and a very distinguished person in the meteorological and climate area, is a recent signatory along with a dozen other very senior scientists in challenging the view on the human impact on climate change. I will ask Senator Wong at estimates which of those scientists she considers are the flat-earthers, as she so rudely and inaccurately called them at an estimates committee hearing a few years ago. I would like her to repeat to Mr Kininmonth and to some of his colleagues from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology her claim that he is a flat-earther. Mr Kininmonth is a far better scientist than Senator Wong will ever be a politician or a minister.

The Australian public know that this is a crock. They know that you cannot fix the troubles of the world by dealing with Australia's less than 1.4 per cent of emissions when nobody else in the world is doing anything serious about it. We have seen in the last couple of days reports in the papers that Chinese and American airlines are saying to the Europeans: 'We're not paying your carbon tax, because it is all rubbish.' But the Australian airlines have to pay it. How can they remain competitive You have to look no further than to the aluminium industry difficulties that are happening now. How can Australian manufacturing compete with Chinese, American or, indeed, Euro_pean manufacturing when Australian manu_facturing is taxed enormously whereas these countries have no, in the case of the United States and China, or very low, in the case of Europe, carbon taxes.

That is why the Auditor-General was correct when he said that, whatever was spent, this advertising was completely ineffective. You cannot sell to the Australian people, people who are cleverer than the ALP gives them credit for, a proposition that they know is inherently wrong. There is nothing that the majority of Australians will accept out of the Labor Party's use of their money to try and brainwash them into a huge tax that is so typical of Labor. I commend the ANAO report and urge the government to do something about it. (Time expired)

Question agreed to

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