"Jobs in the renewables sector have been put in jeopardy because Labor failed to convince anyone in the Senate to support its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and therefore will see Renewable Energy Target (RET) legislation debated in parliament with no compensation for trade exposed industries", said The Nationals' Senator Ron Boswell.
"The Coalition last night moved amendments to the Renewable Energy Target (RET) legislation to decouple it from Labor's flawed, friendless and now defeated emissions trading scheme (ETS) but the amendments that seek to protect Australian jobs were rejected by Government MPs", said Senator Boswell.
"The Government says it has decoupled RET from the ETS. Well, it hasn't. Sunday's announcement provides interim trade assistance for a select three industries but other trade-exposed industries have been left out in the cold with RET assistance remaining contingent on passage and commencement of Labor's flawed ETS.”
"Australia's most energy intensive industries – aluminium, silicon and newsprint – have been offered stand alone trade assistance but the aluminium industry says it's not enough to ensure ongoing viability.”
"Other industries like iron and steel, sugar refining, plastics and chemicals, pulp and paper and cement and lime will receive no trade assistance under RET until an ETS is passed and commences.”
"Agricultural processing will receive absolutely nothing, not even if an ETS is passed.”
"If the Coalition were to pass Labor's renewable energy legislation as currently proposed, Australia's most significant trade advantage – cheap and secure supplies of energy – would take an enormous hit and this would be felt by every trade-exposed business in the country.”
"Rudd's tricky political manoeuvre is simply another attempt at ramping up industry pressure on the Coalition to pass his flawed ETS.”
"The Coalition has been very clear on RET. We support it, but the legislation must include: stand alone trade assistance for emissions-intensive, trade-exposed industry; increased trade assistance for aluminium; and assistance for trade-exposed food processing businesses."