Topics: National Clean Air Champions, Labor’s plan to bring back the carbon tax
I'm delighted to be here today with John and Helen Taylor and to announce that they will be National Clean Air Champions. That means they are part of the National Clean Air Agreement. We are working with the States and Territories today, on a National Clean Air Agreement. Our goal is to have that in place by 1st July 2016. I suspect that we will be six months ahead of schedule and I think that's a tremendous outcome but as part of that we are appointing a small number of National Clean Air Champions. Helen and John are world champions.
They have fuel efficiency records around the world. We're launching their Caltex Vortex Fuel Efficiency Challenge today. What does that mean? That means that they will be travelling around Australia – 19,000 kilometres in a figure of eight. Thirty-eight days and hoping to break more records and teach Australians that you can reduce fuel use, you can be engaged in fuel efficiency, you don't need massive taxes, you can do it through sensible ways of living and driving and that's a lesson for everybody. It's possible, it's desirable, it's real.
We can reduce emissions without massive taxes by people making sensible choices and that's what John and Helen do. They're world champions and they are an example of exactly how we can have cleaner air, fewer emissions and lower costs, all through sensible non-tax measures. So I'll turn over to John and Helen to tell you about their drive, but I am delighted to officially declare them as National Clean Air Champions and to launch their Caltex Vortex Fuel Efficiency Challenge.
Thank you very much. We're delighted to be announced as Clean Air Champions today. We've campaigned for many years about fuel efficiency, teaching drivers globally and it's fantastic to be able to do this in Australia. We joined forces with Caltex and we're planning to educate Australians on the importance of fuel efficient driving using vortex premium fuels and regular servicing. By doing this, everyone can reduce their fuel consumption.
You know we're very proud to team up and become Clean Air Champions as well. I think what's very important to us is that this 19,000 kilometre drive is about educating the general public when we're out there. So we're going to be running free clinics. If you log onto fuelacademy.com you'll be able to see where we are and when we're going to be running the clinics. Greg?
So we're happy to take any questions either about the National Clean Air Champions programme, or I understand there may be a few other issues.
So we've got reports out today – Labor's denying that they would reintroduce a carbon tax, what are your thoughts on that?
Well you can't trust Bill Shorten and you can't trust Labor. They've been caught red-handed. This isn't a plan just for one carbon tax; it's a plan for two carbon taxes. It's a double carbon tax whammy. The plan is reported on the front page of papers across Australia and two things come out of this – a massive hike in electricity prices, gas prices, potentially fuel prices but there's also a split of catastrophic proportions.
Who leaked Labor's plan? Why did they leak Labor's plan? Was it a plan to kill the tax or to kill Bill? So I think the Labor Party has some serious questions, but this is their document, it's their Shadow Cabinet document, it's their plan for not just a carbon tax but a double carbon tax, a tax generally on everyone, and a tax on electricity.
And Minister, when the Federal Government canned the carbon tax, you promised households and businesses a saving of around $550 a year. Households, though, are saving less than $300 a year according to some of the papers. Where's the rest of that savings? Are we getting back as much as you thought we would?
Yes we are. I've spoken this week and met with the deputy head of the ACCC and they confirmed, as the head of the ACCC has already said, that the full $550 is coming back on average to families across the country. So the toughest cop on the beat was categorical. So we have saved families $550, Bill Shorten wants to hit them with another $550 tax, but this time, on what's been reported, there's a massive double tax but there's no compensation.
So pensioners, low income families, farmers, drivers, everybody will get hit with a massive new carbon tax. And if Bill Shorten says don't believe what my own Shadow Cabinet papers say, the message is very clear. You can't trust Bill, you can't trust Labor, the taxes are going up, your electricity's going up, your gas is going up, your refrigerants are going up, your petrol's going up. It's there in black and white, it's their Shadow Cabinet paper and he's simply not capable of telling the truth on this topic.
So we've got less than a week until the National Labor Conference, what are you expecting to come out of that? Are you expecting Labor to unveil a carbon tax or something similar to that?
Well Mr Shorten has to come out today and make it clear how much will electricity prices rise, how much will gas prices rise, how much will their carbon tax cost? And it's not just one carbon tax – it's a double carbon tax. A double whammy, a double hit, and a double denial from him. I mean, it's extraordinary. They've been caught red-handed, their hand is in the till, it's on the power bills of Australian families and he's trying to deny his own Shadow Cabinet submission. An exhaustive, comprehensive submission.
Labor has said that it won't introduce a carbon tax, they were pretty emphatic in a statement today, can that not be believed?
Well what you have to believe is Labor's own Shadow Cabinet papers. This isn't just a casual document, this is a massive leak about a massive tax. It's a major Shadow Cabinet submission. Now clearly it's an attempt to either kill the tax or kill Bill.
But what we see here is massive hikes in electricity, massive hikes in gas, potentially massive hikes in petrol, refrigerants, all sorts of household goods, the cost of living. It's there in black and white. It's a significant submission, and remember this – Labor has been committed to a new carbon tax since the old carbon tax was repealed. Alright? Thank you very much.