”You’re an absolute disgrace!” Full text of Tony Windsor’s speech that put Abbott in his place

I am very proud to have supported doing something about climate change. I think history will judge those who have had the guts to stand up and actually try to address what is a very difficult issue in a difficult parliament…” – Tony Windsor

Via the Parliamentary Hansard (HoR Thursday 16 August 2012):

Mr WINDSOR (New England) (15:28):  There has been a lot of discussion today about history. It has been discussed here today that, two years ago, the Prime Minister made a certain comment in the run-up to the  election. As most of us would be aware, the Prime  Minister did not win the election; this is a hung parliament.
 
Opposition members interjecting—
 
Mr WINDSOR:  You might learn something from a little bit of history here. You might be a little bit interested.
 
Opposition members interjecting—
 
The DEPUTY SPEAKER:    Order! The member for New England has the right to be heard.
 
Mr WINDSOR:  As the Leader of the Opposition would know very well, as the Prime Minister would know very well and, for that matter, as the Deputy Prime Minister would know, the decision to do something about climate change—whether it be through an emissions trading scheme, a carbon pricing arrangement or a price on carbon—was a condition of the formation of government.
 
The Leader of the Opposition knows that very well, because on a number of occasions he actually begged for the job. You have never denied it, Tony, and you will not. He begged for the job and he made the point, not only to me but to others in that negotiating period, that he would do anything to get that job. You would well remember—and your colleagues should be aware—that the only codicil that you put on that was: ‘I will do anything, Tony, to get this job; the only thing I 
wouldn’t do is sell my arse.’
 
And:
 
The DEPUTY SPEAKER:    The Manager of Opposition Business will resume his seat. Perhaps everybody should read  Hansard about personal, vexatious issues. The member for New England has the call and must refer to the issue before the chair, which is the suspension.
 
Mr WINDSOR:  The Leader of the Opposition is well aware of the discussions that were held. It was a condition of the formation of government. He was prepared to do anything, if in fact he had been called upon.
 
Mr Dutton:  Not a carbon tax!
 
Mr WINDSOR:    If he had been asked to put in place an emissions trading scheme—or a carbon tax, for that matter—he would have done it. The fact that he was not asked was a very, very good judgement, in my view.
 
Opposition members interjecting—
 
The DEPUTY SPEAKER:    Order! The member has the right to be heard.
 
Mr WINDSOR:  In terms of the substantive issue, I support the suspension of standing orders, because I think it is a debate that we should be very proud of. I am very proud to have supported the price on carbon.
 
Mr Dutton:  Sounds like a valedictory!
 
The DEPUTY SPEAKER:    The member for Dickson will leave the chamber under 94(a). The member for Dickson then left the chamber
 
Mr WINDSOR:  I am very proud to have supported doing something about climate change. I think history will judge those who have had the guts to stand up and actually try to address what is a very difficult issue in a difficult parliament. But this man, the Leader of the Opposition, was quite prepared to do that if he had been given the nod on that particular day. ‘I will do anything, anything, to get this job’—they were the comments, and people know that, and they should 
know it, because you are an absolute disgrace in the way in which you are wandering around on this issue.  You have exactly the same target as the emissions trading scheme pricing arrangements. You have exactly the same target in terms of the 1990 levels by 2020. And you have the audacity to actually say to people that you are going to achieve that target through a much more expensive arrangement than putting a price on carbon—particularly given the history that 
you have on this issue.
 
John Howard was someone that I had disagreements with from time to time, but at least he recognised that we have to do something about emissions in this world. There are opportunities that exist in regional Australia in terms of the pricing arrangements and the clean energy funds et cetera. I ask the Leader of the Opposition and other members within the chamber to just look at the meat industry in the next few months. Just look at the way in which they are going to address some of these issues. Come back in a few months and tell me if I am wrong. I do not mind that. There are enormous opportunities in terms of renewable energy in the meat industry. I suggest we start to vote for the future rather than— (Time expired)

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