The Hon. DAVID CLARKE
(Parliamentary Secretary) [10.42 p.m.]: When Julia Gillard faced the Australian people before last year's election she promised solemnly and without equivocation that there would be no carbon tax under a government that she would lead. That promise had no backdoor escape hatch through which she could wriggle. It was an iron-clad guaranteed promise with no ifs or buts about it. Yet only a few days ago that promise to the Australian people proved to be worthless; that promise proved to be a lie. With the passage of Labor's carbon tax through the Senate, proof beyond doubt was provided that a promise made by the Gillard Government is a promise meant to be broken and a promise that will be broken. Once again Federal Labor has betrayed the Australian people. Once again it has lied to the Australian people and, once again, it has shown that it is rotten to the very core. Despite the Labor Government inappropriately, and in breach of its own advertising guidelines, splurging millions of dollars of taxpayers' money on a lying campaign to sell to us that a carbon tax would actually be good for us, the Australian electorate is not buying it. The latest Galaxy poll shows that 73 per cent of people believe they will be worse off.
They have had their fill of Labor lies. That is why, according also to a Galaxy poll, a hefty majority of the electorate cannot get an election soon enough. Whether or not one believes in human-induced global warming, the great majority do not believe that this carbon tax will do anything to reduce it. In that they are dead right. They agree with Tony Abbott when he said, "The carbon tax won't clean up the environment but it will clean out your wallet." Even if we accept the Government's assertion that the tax will reduce carbon in the atmosphere, that decrease, even by the Government's own figures, is infinitesimal. By way of comparison China's increase in carbon emissions from 2004 to 2009 was about 2,500 million tonnes per annum. That figure is anticipated to rise over the 10-year period to 2010 by a further 6,000 million tonnes per annum, whereas the proposed decrease in Australia's emissions over the decade is about 50 million tonnes per annum. China's increased emissions will be over 100 times as large as our reductions. In the process, China's industry continues to grow while we scuttle ours.
Labor's tax is not a carbon reducing tax; it is a wealth reducing tax. It is imposing on Australian businesses taxes that inevitably will be passed on to the whole community through higher charges. How does that help to reduce climate warming? The answer is that it does not. Labor is and always has been a party of high taxation, a party of confiscatory taxation, a party that uses taxation to achieve a socialist redistribution of wealth. Labor never changes. Even by its own calculations three million Australian households will be worse off under Labor's new tax. But the truth is that the whole community will be worse off and the whole community knows it. According to officials of the Australian Crime Commission it will act as a honey pot for criminals engaged in money laundering and other fraudulent activities. According to leaders of the business community, it will be a great impediment to economic growth and export industries.
According to New South Wales Treasury officials, it will cause a massive blowout in infrastructure costs. According to economists, it will result in the loss of thousands of jobs. According to those who produce goods and services, it will result in higher prices for consumers. It will not reduce emissions, it will not reduce global warming and it will not increase renewable energy sources. That is why the latest news poll shows that in the past two weeks Labor's vote has deteriorated significantly. With the Coalition's two-party preferred lead increasing from 6 per cent to 14 per cent, the Coalition would win an election by 57 to 43 per cent. Also significant is the fact that the Greens vote has shrunk to 10 per cent from the 11.8 per cent it received in last year's election. Increasingly, the Federal Greens are seen for what they are—the centre of political ratbaggery in this nation and the gravediggers of the Australian economy. When they snap their fingers Labor dances to their tune.
Senator Bob Brown hailed the passage of the carbon tax as a green letter day but it should be called a red letter day to reflect that this socialist transfer of wealth tax will dump yet again another load on the back of ordinary Australians. This tax makes it clear for all to see that the one who drives the Greens is not the green Green, Senator Bob Brown, but the red Green, Senator Lee Rhiannon. The next election will not be a green letter day or a red letter day; it will be a time is up day—a day celebrating the end of the Green Labor Government and its iniquitous carbon tax.