Michelle Lensink

Climate Change

By way of supplementary question, how does the minister characterise being slapped down by his Premier on his proposal to introduce a state-based ETS, and does the Premier have his head buried in the sand?

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER  (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Climate Change)  ( 14:47 :45 ): The honourable member clearly did not take the very plain hint—
 
The Hon. R.I. Lucas: Carbon tax Hunter!
 
The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: The Hon. Mr Lucas shouts across the chamber—is this all he's got? There is no greater backer of a price on carbon or an emissions trading scheme than our new Prime Minister, Prime Minister Turnbull.
 
The Hon. J.M.A. Lensink: I think he can speak for himself.
 
The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: Well, he has done, and let me tell you what he has said in terms of carbon.

Members interjecting: 

The PRESIDENT: Order! The minister has the floor. Minister.
 
The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: Turnbull, Hansard 15 August 2007:

This will be the most comprehensive emissions training scheme in the world, broader in coverage than any scheme currently operating anywhere. This world-leading scheme of prime minister Howard at the time—will cover 70  to  75  per  cent of total emissions, or almost 100  per  cent of industrial, energy and mining emissions. 

Let's skip forward to 2009, Mr Turnbull on ETS is effective, from the Insiders program:

I believe the only effective way to reduce emissions is to put a price on carbon. 

Can't hear it much more clearly than that. What about 2010, on Q&A? We may start to see the federal government appearing Q&A again, you never know. Prime Minister Turnbull, back in 2010:

You won't find an economist anywhere that will tell you anything other than that the most efficient and effective way to cut emissions is by putting a price on carbon. 

That was Prime Minister Turnbull. In 2010, in Hansard again (I have already given this quote):

Believing as I do, as a Liberal, that market forces deliver the lowest cost and most effective solution to economic challenges, the answer must be yes. 

This is in relation to a price on carbon. In 2011—I can go on for pages:

It was the Liberal Party's policy to have an emissions trading scheme when John Howard was prime minister…So, we always supported an emissions trading scheme. The Rudd version of that scheme was very similar to what we had been contemplating when we were in government. 

That was Prime Minister Turnbull. I hear the Hon. Mr Lucas about to jump to his feet and say, 'But that was then and this is now; we've changed.' Well, just yesterday, I think—yes, 22 September—the Canberra Timesreported:

And Mr Turnbull has left the door open on other policies too, suggesting emissions cuts and Direct Action would be examined if they were not working as well as expected— 

Surprise, surprise—

and that the tax policies were also being constantly looked at. 

Then they quote Mr Turnbull:

"There are many levers in the tax system, many possible combinations of measures, and it's important that we look at all of them," he told the ABC's AM program. 

That is what I was doing as well. Do you really think that as an environment minister I would close off avenues that are being looked at in other jurisdictions? Do you really think that I would be saying to my department, 'Don't report to me on what everybody else is doing'? I want to know what is going on. It is a long way to leap from asking for information and considering what other jurisdictions do—
 
The Hon. R.I. Lucas: You said it was a reasonable option.
 
The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: The Hon. Mr Lucas says, 'and we're going to introduce it'. This is the key difference between the state Liberals and the now nuanced federal government's approach: they are stuck in the past, Malcolm Turnbull wants to move the government into the future. We hope that they will work with us—the federal government I am saying. It might be a lost cause for those opposite, but the door is always open to them. Change your position, look at the science, look at good policy and get on board with us and Malcolm Turnbull.

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