Monday, October 10, 2011

United Nations bets it all on Australia's Carbon Tax (millions of $$$ spent from UNEP and GEF to sponsor Tax in Australia)

Carbon tax is Prime Minister Julia Gillard's 'foreign plan', Tony Abbott says

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Julia Gillard

Necessary tax ... Gillard said the next decade will be difficult without a carbon tax. Source: The Daily Telegraph

THE carbon tax is Julia Gillard's "foreign content plan", according to Tony Abbott, who said today the Coalition would continue fighting the tax even though it is destined to pass parliament.

The Gillard Government’s clean energy draft laws are expected to sail through the lower house on Wednesday, before heading to the Senate where they will be voted on some time next month.

The Opposition Leader this morning continued his attack on the Prime Minister, ahead of Wednesday’s vote.

“We’re going to give it a very good fight and you know this carbon tax is Julia Gillard’s foreign content plan because it will put Australia’s manufacturing at a permanent competitive disadvantage,” he told Channel Nine.

“So, she was talking about supporting local manufacturing last week, this week she wants to pass through the parliament a carbon tax that will permanently damage it and, as I said, it’s her foreign content plan for the goods we buy.”

A new manufacturing industry group – which has brought together a number of large companies including BlueScope Steel, Boral and Amcor – has also criticised the carbon tax, saying it should be deferred.

Manufacturing Australia’s executive chairman, former Reserve Bank board member Dick Warburton, said it seemed “quite wrong” to introduce the carbon tax “until we have a clear picture of what is going on in the rest of the world”.

“In fact countries are actually pulling out of carbon taxes and (emissions trading schemes) and therefore for us to go ahead with very little protection of the emissions at a distinct disadvantage to our economy just doesn’t seem right,” he told ABC Radio.

However a new report, released by Climate Change Minister Greg Combet today, shows climate change is putting at risk alpine water that is worth $9.6 billion a year to the Australian economy.

The Australian Conservation Foundation said the report underlined the urgent need to cut greenhouse pollution.

``The snow-capped peaks of the Australian Alps are a rare and beautiful thing in our mostly dry continent, but they could be gone by the middle of this century if we let climate change continue unabated,'' ACF chief executive Don Henry said.

``This report shows again how vital it is that our federal parliamentarians get on with the job of putting a price on carbon pollution - the primary driver of climate change.''

Meanwhile the government is furiously trying to avoid embarrassment on the issue of asylum seekers.

The government is just on vote away from having the numbers to change its migration laws and resurrect its controversial Malaysia people-swap deal.

Only WA Nationals MP Tony Crook – who sits on the crossbenches – is undecided on the issue. If he sides with the government it will hardly matter, since the Coalition and the Greens will vote down the legislation in the Senate.

But if Mr Crook sides with Mr Abbott in the lower house, it would be the first time in 80 years that a government loses a vote on legislation in the House of Representatives.

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