What a load of rubbish we are hearing from this government when it comes to the impact of a carbon tax on the people of Australia. They seem to be living in what I can only call a fairyland of unreality when it comes to the impact that this is going to have on people. What have we seen today? We have seen Minister Wong making the outrageous statement that there are no contrary views to the science. What a load of utter rubbish. We have just had Senator Lundy saying the science is resolved. This is absolute rubbish.
Let me take you just for a moment to some of those scientists and professors who do have the contrary view that Senator Wong is denying. There is your denier; she is denying that there is even another view. Whether or not she accepts it is entirely up to her but she should admit that there is another view. Let us have a look at Professor John Christy, who is the lead atmospheric scientist of the IPCC. We have got Professor Roy Spencer, Professor Bob Carter and Professor Ian Plimer, just to name a few who have a different view. We were not asking Senator Wong whether she agreed with them; we were asking her to say whether or not she recognised they even exist and she said no. That is how far this government have their heads buried in the sand over this whole issue.
Let me share with you what Professor John Christy actually said in his statement. He concluded:
… this pervasive result from climate models has not been detected in the real atmosphere.
What a surprise when we have got colleagues on the other side of this place from the government telling us that there is no other view and that the science is settled. All we were saying was that the government should recognise that there are scientists with an alternative view. The minister, Senator Wong, chose to say, ‘No, there is no contrary view.’ Senator Lundy is here saying, ‘No, the science is settled.’ It is absolute rubbish—I would use a stronger word but I am in the chamber amongst very good company. The minister, Senator Wong, should say right now that there is an alternative view, because she is misleading the Australian people. If she truly does not believe that there is another scientific view, there is your denier, right over there across the chamber in the government.
What other extraordinary things did she say today? We had a carbon tax rally out the front of this building today from people who were so concerned about what the impact of this carbon tax is going to be. There were over 3,000 people out there on the lawns of Parliament House and I note that the Prime Minister did not even bother to turn up. According to the minister, Senator Penny Wong, they are not a real audience—‘that other audience’ I think was the phrase she used. Those people who were out there on the front lawn are mothers, fathers, daughters, children and grandmothers. There was a 91-year-old lady there, and I do hope she is feeling all right because the day was a little hot and a little too much for her. We have got a 91-year-old woman prepared to go out there and stand up for those people who are saying there should be no carbon tax. That is a real person; that is not ‘the other audience’ that we were with out there, as the minister contends.
If that is what she seriously thinks about mainstream people in Australia, if that is what she seriously thinks about those working families who took time out to travel from right across this country to come to this place and give the Prime Minister their view, that is appalling. It just shows the arrogance not only of the minister, Penny Wong, but of this entire government. They will not recognise the impact this is having on the Australian people and the Australian people are saying no. What the government is putting forward is not going to make the slightest bit of difference to the climate. All of this pain—the taxes, the costs and the hikes that are going onto the Australian people—and the major emitters around the rest of the world are doing absolutely nothing. It is not going to make that slightest bit of difference to the climate.
Senator Feeney—and I must repeat this because unfortunately the President did not hear it at the time—today referred to those at the rally as somehow part of the Ku Klux Klan. That is appalling and he should have withdrawn it off his own bat. This government needs to take a long hard look at itself. The Australian people are saying no to a carbon tax and it is about time the government realised it.