“The 'deal' includes an 'automatic statutory review of CPRS legislation, including EITE policy, as soon as practicable after Australia signs a new multilateral agreement on climate change which imposes obligations to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions'.”
“This reinforces why we should wait till after Copenhagen as the whole thing will have to be looked at again in light of international agreements and obligations. There is no certainty,” said The Nationals' Senator Ron Boswell today.
“The CPRS 'deal' does not address several of the principal issues which the Coalition said in July must be addressed in Labor's scheme.”
“Nine specific issues were laid down on 24 July. The first one is that 'An Australian Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) should offer no less protection for jobs, small business and industry than an American ETS'. The 'deal' does not offer any confidence that this concern has been addressed as the contents of the US scheme are unknown.”
“The third issue to be addressed before Coalition support was that 'Emissions Intensive Trade Exposed industries (EITEs) should at least be on a level playing field with the United States and other advanced economies and should therefore receive full compensation for higher energy costs until the bulk of their competitors ¦face a similar carbon cost'. The 'deal' has not satisfied this essential commitment.”
“The sixth specific issue was that 'the design scheme must ensure that general increases in electricity prices are no greater than comparable countries'. There is no guarantee that this will be the case in the 'deal'. In fact, quite the opposite. Senator Wong said that the assistance to electricity generators was to secure security of supply and would not reduce the impact on price.”
“Proposed transitional electricity assistance only covers major power users (over 300 megawatt hrs p.a.) in manufacturing, not the smaller ones, service providers such as hospitals, or the retailers. Also, it only covers half the expected price increase in 2012-13 and a quarter maximum in 2013-14. This will not be legislated for but rely on political generosity in future hard times budgets.”
“Taken together, these failures to address major issues laid down by the Coalition as a prerequisite for support have not been met. Like my Nationals' colleagues, I do not support the 'deal.'”
Senator Boswell said that the fallout from the CPRS, deal or otherwise, would put many regional industries, jobs and communities at risk by adding a cost to Australian business that would not be faced by our trade competitors.
“Food processors, farmers, small retailers and all the families who depend on them are not being looked after by this 'deal'. It is a 'deal' by big government for big business with no thought of the little guy.”
“There is no new money on the table for food processors and no relief from the higher energy costs that will make them uncompetitive. There is no relief for hospitals, aged care and schools as they face higher energy costs.”