Subject: Carbon Pricing
Jon Faine: Well we were looking around this morning to see who we could talk to from both the Government and the Opposition in relation to the debate on carbon.
We thought, well Sophie Mirabella, the Member for Indi, in Northern Victoria. She got thrown out of the Parliament last night, she should be free to talk to us. Here is what happened last nightf to Sophie Mirabella.
(Cuts to audio from Parliament of Sophie Mirabella being ejected from Parliament.)
Jon Faine: Fifty seven votes, I wonder where the others were. But either way she was thrown out of the Parliament. So we thought she should be free today to speak us, after all she should not be sitting, but in fact she is the only Member of Parliament who should be free today.
But we were told that she has a full diary of meetings back to back and couldn't spare me five minutes to chat to you on the radio this morning whatsoever. Quite frankly I don't believe that between 10:30pm last night when she was thrown out and 7:00am this morning when we asked her diary went from nothing to everything.
But either way, Sophie Mirabella declined our invitation to join us today. In a moment the Shadow Minister for the Liberal Party, Greg Hunt, but first up Mark Dreyfus QC, Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change - Greg Combet's sidekick. Good morning to you Mr Dreyfus.
Mark Dreyfus: Morning Jon.
Jon Faine: Is this going to be rammed through despite its unpopularity today?
Mark Dreyfus: This is a really significant achievement today John for our children, our children's children, for all of those who are going to take up the new clean energy jobs and for all Australians who are going to benefit from the clean energy economy.
Jon Faine: The Steelworkers at Westernport? A 1000 of them have lost their job already?
Mark Dreyfus: Not to do with the carbon price, that's to do with high exchange rates and high raw material costs and we'll be assisting the steelworkers of Bluescope Steel. We will be assisting the steelworkers at OneSteel and it is extraordinary that the Liberal Party actually voted against that steel assistance plan, which of course is associated with the carbon price, but some of it will be brought forward to give assistance to Bluescope Steel.
Yet the Liberal Party, which claims to be the friend of the steel industry, which has been talking doom for the steel industry for months, voted against that steel assistance plan.
Jon Faine: I noticed the Prime Minister slightly changed her emphasis this morning and started talking about the tax package offsets and alike. Has this been poorly marketed by you and your colleagues from the very beginning?
Mark Dreyfus: We've had an extraordinary campaign of misinformation from the Liberal Party. We have had Tony Abbott talking crap, month after month. I would expect he would keep talking crap. I expect he will keep talking about the sort of hysterical misinformation that he has been doing for months. But this will now go to the Senate after the vote today.
We'll be ensuring that it passes through the Senate. It will become law and on the 1st of July next year Australia will commence with a carbon price that's going to start cutting our nation's carbon emissions.
I am looking forward to continuing to talk to Australians about the way in which this is going to work and clearing away the fog of misinformation that Tony Abbott and his colleagues have created.
Jon Faine: Are you able to clarify, the Prime Minister was a little obscure on AM this morning, on ABC radio, about whether or not you would seize the opportunity with Ms Mirabella out of the Parliament, to rush through the Malaysian Solution legislation as well?
Mark Dreyfus: Jon, our focus today is on the clean energy future legislation...
Jon Faine: Yes but once you get it through, while she is still out, will you try and squeeze in Malaysian Solution legislation too?
Mark Dreyfus: We'll be getting on with the business of the Parliament Jon, but the focus today, this is a historic day for Australia where we introduce the carbon price, well at least it passed through the House of Representatives. We have been working for a decade or more on making this achievement and personally I am thrilled and I can say to you that there has been a ride to work day in Canberra and there were people cheering when I spoke briefly to the crowd about what I was going to do at work today.
Jon Faine: Okay we will see and we will hear from the Opposition now as well. Thank you. Mark Dreyfus, Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change.