SIMON BIRMINGHAM: If Graham Perrett really cares about betraying his electorate then this week he will not vote for Labor’s carbon tax. It’s all very well and good for Mr Perrett to want to put his neck on the chopping block for Julia Gillard but what he should be doing is putting his neck on the chopping block for the voters of the seat of Moreton. If he really wants to care about democracy and giving the voters a choice then frankly why doesn’t he resign his seat this week and let them have a vote on the carbon tax. All Australians deserve a vote on this. Mr Perrett, like Julia Gillard, like all 72 Labor MPs, were elected on the basis of there being no carbon tax. He needs to answer why it is that he is willing to put his neck on the chopping block for Julia Gillard but not for the families and workers of his electorate who will suffer under Labor’s carbon tax.
JOURNALIST: [unclear].
SIMON BIRMINGHAM: Well, what matters most to the people of Moreton, as it does to people right across Australia, are their living standards – the cost of living, jobs, competitiveness for Australia, our place in the world economy. These are the important issues. That’s what Mr Perrett should be standing up for first and foremost – the voters of Moreton, rather than Julia Gillard.
JOURNALIST: Is it almost game over for the Coalition as far as the carbon tax goes, given it will get through on Wednesday?
SIMON BIRMINGHAM: We’ve made it very clear – we will fight this carbon tax. We think it’s bad for Australia. It deserves to be fought. Labor promised they wouldn’t introduce it and they are betraying the voters of Australia, so we will fight it at every step in the Parliament. We will continue to fight it and highlight the problems of it for the months or years, however long it is, until the next election and we will go to the next election with a policy to repeal it.
JOURNALIST: If the carbon tax does pass, doesn’t the Opposition need to move on because they’ve lost the argument? Don’t you need to do that to maintain [unclear]?
SIMON BIRMINGHAM: The Australian voters deserve a choice. They were denied a choice at the last election. We’ll at least ensure they get one at the next election.