The Gillard Government’s refusal to release updated modelling on its carbon tax will today see a farcical first hearing of the Labor-Greens dominated shotgun inquiry into the legislation, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and inquiry member Simon Birmingham said today.
Treasury officials are among those appearing before the Joint Select Committee this morning to answer questions about modelling the Government has refused to share with voters already denied a vote on whether or not to introduce the carbon tax.
“It is plainly ridiculous that this committee be expected to inquire into this legislation in just three weeks, in the dark with one arm tied behind our back,” Senator Birmingham said today.
“We’ve also been denied the time to properly examine before today 300 submissions the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE) received on 13 draft exposure bills, received prior to 22 August but posted on a website just late yesterday.”
DCCEE officers will also appear at today’s hearing, together with officers from the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.
“The Government, not satisfied with an already impractical deadline for a Committee it controls, has stalled at every turn to make the work of this Committee impossibly difficult.
“Coalition members of the committee will make the most of this morning’s hearing, but this inquiry daily becomes ever more embarrassing when compared with the concurrent inquiries of several months’ duration into the former Howard Government’s GST bills.
“Not content with denying Australians a vote on whether or not to have a carbon tax, Labor has done its level best to prevent proper scrutiny of its toxic legislation.
“Labor’s contempt for scrutiny, accountability and Australian voters is just breathtaking.”
More information in relation to the inquiry, including the program for today’s 9.15am hearing in Parliament House Committee Room 2R1, can be found on the Joint Select Committee’s website at http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/jscacefl/index.htm.