RESPONSE from Sen. Claire Moore

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From: “McDonald, Marya (Sen C. Moore)” <Marya.McDonald@aph.gov.au>
Sent: Tuesday, 4 October 2011 1:35 PM
Subject: RE: The Proposed Carbon Dioxide Tax

Dear Mr G

Thank you for your email which Senator has asked me to reply to in her absence on Parliamentary duties. Thank you for drawing her attention to the Galileo Movement website which is not an peer reviewed scientific source but a website dedicated to convinced climate sceptics, some of whom are scientists who profess an interest in cutting edge research in climate science and others are not.

There is a Carbon price proposal put to the Parliament in the Clean Energy Bills which is likely carry on the numbers in support in both Houses, and Mr Abbott knows this too.  It is based on the same principles  and follows as the next logical proposal after the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme legislation which had unprecedented media coverage, public debate, scientific and economic modelling  and was put to both Houses of the Parliament on three different occasions. The combined package of legislation was debated in the Senate for more than 40 hours in November 2010 alone. This was in addition to almost 14 hours of debate on the package earlier this year and a projected 29 hours in the current Parliament, TWO Senate inquiries in the last year, 13 committee reports on climate change, the Garnaut Review, the Green paper, the Treasury Modelling Australia’s Low Pollution Future, the White Paper and the release of Draft Legislation. Beyond that, materials were widely published and accessible in all forms of media, print, TV, radio and on-line, and have been subject to frequent, intense scrutiny and commentary as Australia’s ETS propositions have been modified to deal with farmer’s, power generators, manufacturing [particularly trade exposed] industries and alternative energy provider’s, as well as householder/consumer’s important objections and concerns.

Carbon pollution reduction as a factor in achieving a start on the complex process of rectifying what contribution humans have made to climate change (above and beyond natural climate cycles) was a promise taken to the 2007 election by the then Liberal PM John Howard and subsequently endorsed by the Rudd Government and the Turnbull led Liberals. The Gillard Government’s policy (like the Rudd‘s and the Howard and Turnbull-led Liberals) has always been abundantly clearly in favour of future carbon pollution reduction schemes. Given the unexpected result of a hung Parliament that relies on the Independents and Greens support so that ANY government could be formed at all, this now includes a fixed price per ton on carbon for major polluters and in time will become an Emissions Trading Scheme always favoured by PM Gillard, NOT a tax. Its five key planks are:

o             Polluters pay! Individual, home based and sound though individual domestic energy saving measures are, you cannot restrain large scale polluters who are only deterred from polluting practices by imposts against their profits.

o             The market picks winners, not the government, as per Tony Abbott’s plan.

o             Industry gets the investment certainty they are seeking, the lack of which they may have used as a way of avoiding voluntary pollution reduction as an act of environmental responsibility ie the market has NOT taken the lead of individual energy conservers nor the renewable energy sector and will not until the issue becomes an economic one.

o             Targeted stakeholders with special needs  and households with limited financial resources will receive assistance to help them with their household bills from every dollar that those polluters pay when they pass on a small margin of increased cost [arising from the Carbon tax on 500 big polluters].

o             The national economy undergoes significant transition and environmental improvement as we move to a clean energy future. Moreover Australia becomes another paradigm so that  those 90 States and nations already with an ETS or pollution mitigation measures (including America, China, Japan  and India) and renewable energy targets continue with them , and more countries get on board the process to reduce the damage we are doing to our grand children’s future.

More information can be gathered from the website

Clean energy future call centre (for general public)

ph: 1800 057 590

e: enquiries@cleanenergyfuture.gov.au

w: www.cleanenergyfuture.gov.au

In the final analysis, voters always have the referendum of an election at which they can decide either to accept or reject any government on the basis either of a direct policy or a belief that a promise to rescind a policy of a previous government is in fact likely and credible. One example was the promise to “roll back” GST which of course never happened. We suspect that rescinding Carbon ‘Tax’ as a measure against big polluters and NOT a personal income tax measure will be another example of this, whatever Mr Abbott may claim now in the heat of the moment. This is because he will also have to roll back the package of compensation for pensioners, self funded retirees and low income households too, reduce the tax free threshold from $18,200 back to $6,000 so another million or more Australians have to return to paying tax again, as well as create investment uncertainty in the very large businesses who are the biggest political supporters of his future government.

Thank you for your interest in this vital matter which is of such concern to all stakeholders in the community.

Marya McDonald

Office of Senator Claire Moore

Senator for Queensland

PH 07 3252 7101/// Fax 07 3252 8957

email: marya.mcdonald@aph.gov.au

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