State-based carbon tax proposal ‘just ridiculous’, South Australian Opposition says
9th Dec 2016
South Australia’s Opposition Leader has ruled out ever supporting an emissions intensity scheme despite Australia’s chief scientist and other groups saying it is a good option.
The declaration came as Business SA offered a veiled criticism of the Federal Government’s decision to reject the scheme before Alan Finkel delivered a report on the electricity sector to the Prime Minister and state premiers at a COAG meeting today.
The business lobby today released data showing the state’s blackout in September cost businesses $367 million and said there were fears of more blackouts this summer.
A leaked copy of Dr Finkel’s report referred to an EIS as being good option to reduce emissions and to keep electricity prices low.
Business SA’s Anthony Penney called for governments to consider expert opinions like Dr Finkel’s on the issue.
“We are encouraged by and looking forward to Dr Alan Finkel’s findings,” Mr Penney said.
“We are though again, concerned that the results are going to be highly politicised and that the end result being a complete lack of action.
“We’re not wanting a blame fest, we’re wanting a road map and consideration, with bipartisan support, state and federal governments, on how to move forward transitioning the electricity market to a low-carbon future.”
Easy to scare people but good solutions will be found: Weatherill
Yesterday South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill called for the Federal Government to take leadership on an emissions scheme, but revealed he would advocate for the states to go it alone if the Commonwealth did not get on board.
After the COAG meeting, Mr Weatherill described Dr Finkel’s report into the national electricity market as “very intelligent and articulate” and found community support for an emissions policy.
He said a range of experts and industries, except the coal industry, had given broad support to the report and it was disappointing the Prime Minister had not.
“We believe we should base our decisions in this area on the basis of evidence and, indeed, the Prime Minister himself before he ascended to this role, said these words: ‘Mature evidence-based policy community indicated to voters through sophisticated explanation rather than infantile slogans would be the mark of his leadership‘.
“That’s simply all we’re asking for here. This is complex public policy.
“It is easy to scare people, but fundamentally I believe in the intelligence of the Australian community to actually grapple with these complex public policy issues and come up with good solutions.”
SA Liberal leader Steven Marshall ruled out ever supporting an emissions intensity scheme and said it was not the way to drive down electricity prices.
“It’s completely implausible to talk about a new tax which Jay Weatherill now says if he doesn’t get agreement around the COAG table, he wants to pursue it as a state-based carbon tax,” Mr Marshall said.
“Well that is just ridiculous.”