Senator Joyce, (Queensland - Leader of the Nationals in the Senate) (10:40): It is a disgusting day when the Greens, who were the paragons of virtue and were allowing open and transparent debate to enable all sections of the chamber to take part in the carbon tax debate, become part of a guillotine process so that one political party in Australia and the Independents cannot be part of the debate—no-one can be part of the debate because the Greens have changed. It is a new paradigm. The paragons of virtue have now descended down the greasy pole to be just like everybody else. I will bet there are a few Democrat voters out there who have wondered where they have ended up in supporting the Greens. There used to be a sense of honour in here but they have taken it and trashed it.
Just like the deceit with the carbon tax, they are saying one thing while being something else. The Greens today have shown that they say one thing out there but they are entirely something else. When leave was sought for the making of a brief statement, even that was denied. That is where this whole debate has got to. They are running and hiding because this whole tax is such a debacle, such a fiasco. It is disturbing that, because the Greens have chosen to adopt this attitude, we are denying not just political parties but the people of Australia the chance to be involved in and hear the debate in all its complexity, with all its nuances. The Greens exude this almost nauseating faux nobility but when you put them to the test it is the same party that denied Annette Harding the chance to have an inquiry into her rape and it is the same party that is now denying opportunity for debate. That is the Greens; that is who we have; that is what they have become.
The Australian people are very uneasy about this carbon tax. We had a demonstration in support of the tax out the front of Parliament House, but there were more placards than people—no-one turns up; the support is all contrived. In a couple of weeks time I am going to sell a mob of cattle and I am going to tell the truck driver to take them to Dubbo. I expect the cattle to end up in Dubbo. I will certainly be disappointed if he decides instead to take them to Weabonga and just let them go in the hills. It is exactly the same thing—when you have a contract with the Australian people, their expectation is that you will take them to a certain position, and the position this government said it would take them to was that there would be no carbon tax under the government this Prime Minister led. Instead, the government took the people to the hills and just let them go. Then Graham Perrett goes out and says they will not change the truck driver. It does not matter about the truck driver; it is the destination that matters—in this case the destination that those opposite are taking this nation.
This is why it is so vital that we turn this around. In these times of uncertainty, with what we are seeing in Europe and what we are seeing America, what the government is doing to this nation is culpable. Those opposite know that and that is why they are guillotining; that is why they are shutting down debate; that is why they are not allowing the Australian people to have their proper say. It is ludicrous to say that we have had a chance to look at this legislation. We have not. The government has wrapped it and stacked it and brought it in here in a bundle. If we asked those opposite to quote sections of it or to go to the pertinent parts of it, they would not know it themselves—they would not have a clue. It is going to come in here because they have wanted out—they have other things to deal with. They have to work out whether Mr Rudd is coming back and whether he is going to take out the Prime Minister. This is the whole soap opera that our nation has become under these people. It is a disgusting, hopeless approach to government. Every facet of this government is now a total and utter debacle.
What about regional Australia? The government inquiry went to Melbourne and to Sydney and to Canberra, but who did they talk to? They talked to their mates. The big banks are going to be happy—soon they are going to get this massive commission stream which the Greens will bring into place. The Greens are supporters of big banks and big banks' commissions.
I am surprised to see Senator Rhiannon is going to be supporting the big banks in getting billions of dollars of commissions out of struggling working families, out of people who currently cannot afford their power and out of people who currently cannot afford the daily necessities of life.
This is where the nation is going. Is it going to change the climate? No. We have asked Minister Wong this question 600 times and never once have we got an answer. How much will this change the temperature of the globe? The answer is absolutely not at all. It is merely a gesture and in the cruelest form will be delivered to people who cannot afford it. They are going to be lumbered with it for life, and the absolute insult is they listen to you now and they are hearing you shut down the debate because you are scared. You are running, but you are not going to hide—we are going to flush you out.