An untimely accident cost the Mackay region it’s voice at the rushed carbon tax inquiry.
Given just three weeks to form a committee, conduct hearings, and report before the carbon tax was voted on, Mackay’s only chance for input was a teleconference call, which couldn’t be made due to a mishap with a harvester.
Federal Member for Dawson, George Christensen, ensured chairman of the Mackay Isaac Whitsunday Regional Economic Development Corporation, Eddie Westcott was invited to give evidence at the inquiry.
“Unfortunately, there was a mishap only half an hour before the call and Mr Westcott couldn’t make it,” Mr Christensen said.
“The whole inquiry was rushed to avoid any real scrutiny of the carbon tax legislation and there will be thousands of submissions that have been ignored.”
Due to the rushed nature of the inquiry, there was no time for MWREDC to make a written submission and the Labor Greens alliance voted against holding a hearing in Mackay, the Illawarra, and Western Australia.
Hearings were held instead at Canberra, Melbourne, and Sydney.
From the time the committee was formed, the public was given just six days to make written submissions and the committee had just three weeks to digest 1,100 pages of legislation in 19 bills, conduct public hearings, review submissions, and present a report.
More than 4,500 submissions were sent by email in an eight-day period and many important submissions had not been read before the draft report was prepared.
“The Labor Government has gone out of its way to stop any scrutiny of these bills and the modeling they promised would be released before the bills were introduced did not get released until after the inquiry had started,” Mr Christensen said.
In response to the electorate being denied a voice on the carbon tax legislation, Mr Christensen is conducting a ballot throughout Dawson to let people have their say on the tax.
“Everyone is entitled to have their voice heard, whether they are for or against the tax, and that is what this ballot is doing. I encourage everyone to return their ballot as soon as possible as results will be presented in parliament next week.”