Senator IAN MACDONALD (Queensland) (15:23): The two Australian Labor Party speakers have told us, 'Wait until Sunday and you will hear what Ms Gillard is going to promise by way of compensation to all of those Australian families that will be attacked by Labor's newest tax, this time the carbon tax.' I say to Senator Moore or Senator Brown: who could possibly believe Julia Gillard, our Prime Minister, on her form A couple of days before the last election, Julia Gillard got up, hand on heart, and promised faithfully to the Australian public, 'There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead.' Six short months later she is doing the exact opposite. I say to my colleagues in the Australian Labor Party opposite: whatever Ms Gillard says on Sunday absolutely no-one will believe, because this person has form when it comes to telling the truth.

Senator Moore also raised in her contribution to this debate to take note of answers at question time the issue of taxes having been introduced by every government since Federation. I agree with her. It was a government that I was a minister in which introduced the goods and services tax. The difference with the GST is that John Howard laid out on the table every element of the GST, told the Australian public what was going to happen with the GST and then went to an election. If the Australian public did not want a GST, they could have voted the Howard government out. They did not. They returned the Howard government and the GST, thankfully, has been the greatest financial reform that this country has ever seen, and it was genuine reform done by the Howard government and done honestly. Contrast that with the Gillard government: 'There shall be no carbon tax under a government I lead'hand on heart, a solemn promise, four days before the election and one day before the last election.

People in New South Wales, people around Australia, voted for Ms Gillard and her party because they believed her with her promise that there shall be no carbon tax. You can understand now why opinion poll after opinion poll is showing how absolutely annoyed, how angry, the Australian voters are that they were deceived then. They are also angry that Ms Gillard promised she would be more likely to play full-forward for the Bulldogs than to take over Kevin Rudd's job. A couple of days later, what did she do She got out the sabre, knifed him right in the back and became Prime Minister. This person has form. The Australian public, I suggest, have stopped listening to Ms Gillard. They do not believe and will not believe anything she says, and I say to the Australian public that you are very wise to take absolutely no notice of anything Ms Gillard might tell you on Sunday about so-called compensation. There is no need for compensation. All you do is not have the tax and then you do not have to worry about compensation.

As one of my colleagues pointed out, Australia emits less than 1.4 per cent of the world's total greenhouse gas emissions. I would like Senator Wong to participate in this debate and tell me if, as a result of this carbon tax, Australia's emissions are reduced by five per cent by 2020 what that is going to do to the total reduction in greenhouse emissions around the world. Absolutely nothing. What it will do is send jobs offshore, namely, to China, where they do not have a carbon tax or an emissions trading scheme, where they have less stringent rules than we have in Australia, and they would be more than doubling in a few weeks the reduction in the amount of emissions from Australia. If anyone can tell me how that is a good idea, I would be delighted to learn. I do know that, as a result of this carbon tax, Australia's standard of living will fall, our cost of living will increase and people up in North Queensland, Central Queensland, the coalmines and the manufacturing areas will lose their jobs because of this carbon taxfrom a Prime Minister we simply cannot trust.

Back to List