darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785
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July 10, 2011

The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester says Gippslanders can’t trust Julia Gillard with their jobs.

After the Prime Minister released the details of the proposed carbon tax, Mr Chester said he would vote against the legislation when it comes to Federal Parliament later this year.

“The proposed carbon tax will cost jobs in our community, increase the cost of living and do nothing to reduce global temperatures,” Mr Chester said.

“Regional Australians will be the worst affected by this new tax and the Latrobe Valley will bear the brunt of Labor’s failure to stand up to city-based Greens.

“The Labor Party, Greens and the union movement are promising so-called ‘clean energy’ jobs that we might have in the future, but I’m going to keep fighting for the jobs we already have in Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley.

“If the carbon tax is introduced, thousands of jobs will be lost in electricity generation and manufacturing while every small business, including our farmers, will suffer with increased energy costs and no compensation.

“The Prime Minister talks a lot about household support and structural adjustment packages but people who talk to me want the decency of a job, not government handouts.

“The carbon tax and compensation package is a giant money-go-round which will not protect the environment but will hurt Australia’s international competitiveness.”

Mr Chester said he was concerned that cost of living pressures would hurt regional families more than most.

“The government claims that only Australia’s ‘500 biggest polluters’ will pay that carbon tax but there’s no doubt that those costs will be passed on to families through increased prices for electricity, gas, water and grocery items,” Mr Chester said.

“If it costs more to produce food, those costs will be passed on to households and the compensation package is an attempt to buy votes before the next election.

“We couldn’t trust Julia Gillard and the Labor Party to install pink batts or build school halls in a cost-effective manner – why would anyone trust them to deliver an economic reform of this nature? The whole point of a carbon tax is to change the way everybody live and works and that’s why every year it will go up under a Labor Party that can’t manage money.”

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