The Labor-Greens dominated shotgun inquiry into Julia Gillard’s carbon tax legislation is descending from farce into high farce, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and inquiry member Simon Birmingham said today.
A committee already dominated by the legislation’s Labor-Green proponents, given just three weeks to inquire into more than 1100 pages, affording Australians just six days to make their submissions and holding hearings only in the major cities is now facing: 
  • Continuing delay by the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE) in making available the approximately 300 submissions it received prior to 22 August on exposure drafts of 13 of these bills  
  • Continuing failure to release updated Treasury carbon tax modelling and no undertaking from the Government that it will be released in advance of tomorrow’s hearing with Treasury officers, let alone that it will be released in time for appropriate consideration prior to the hearing  
  • Difficulty properly assessing, in the limited time available, the more than 2600 emails of submissions and other correspondence now received by the Committee secretariat  
  • Refusal of the Labor-Greens dominated Select Committee to facilitate hearings across the country, to hear from Australians in regional areas and outside the eastern states.
“The Government, including through the Treasury and the DCCEE, is stalling at every turn to make the work of this Committee impossibly difficult even with an already impractical deadline for a Committee it controls,” Senator Birmingham said today.
“This inquiry becomes even more embarrassing on a daily basis when compared with the example of the concurrent inquiries of several months’ duration into the former Howard Government’s GST legislation.
“Not content with denying Australians a vote on whether or not to have a carbon tax, Labor is hell bent on not allowing proper scrutiny of its economically destructive legislation.
“Labor’s contempt for scrutiny, accountability and Australian voters knows no bounds.”