Question without notice
Climate Change: Emissions Trading
17 August 2006
Mr ALBANESE (3.06 pm)—My question is to the minister for industry. Is he aware of these comments made by the minister for the environment during Senate estimates hearings on 16 February of this year in relation to emissions trading:
I think carbon trading schemes are part of the policy answer … There is nothing radical about supporting trading schemes.
Is the minister also aware of these comments made by the Minister for Foreign Affairs on 31 July, 2005:
We know that emissions can’t continue at their current rate … we’ll have to investigate price signals coming from energy … You can get more investment into cleaner energy through changing pricing signals …
Does the minister agree with these comments? If so, when will emissions trading become part of the Howard government’s policy answer, as proposed to cabinet by the Treasurer and the then environment minister in their 2003 submission—a submission supported by your department?
The SPEAKER—Order! The member for Grayndler will be aware that it is not in order to ask a minister to comment on another minister’s quotations. However, if the minister chooses to answer the question, I will call the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources.
Mr IAN MACFARLANE—Thank you, Mr Speaker. Of course I would never take the member for Grayndler’s quotes without first checking them against the record. The reality is that the solutions to lowering Australia’s emissions and lowering the world’s emissions lie in technology. That is the policy that this government has adopted. The Labor Party is quite happy to trade away the jobs of Australians in pursuit of an idealistic policy. This government will never trade away Australian jobs. We will always find practical solutions that lower greenhouse gas emissions.