30 May 2011
The peak community sector body, ACOSS, has welcomed the new efforts to build support for placing a price on carbon pollution, including the involvement of high profile Australians.
“Climate change will affect all us all, and those who live on the lowest incomes and in vulnerable situations will be affected first and worst,” said Dr Cassandra Goldie, CEO, Australian Council of Social Service.
“It is vital that effective and equitable action is taken to reduce carbon pollution for future generations, and ACOSS welcomes efforts by people from all walks of life to help us get the change we need. We need to build community understanding about the problem and consensus about the solutions.
“The reality is that families are being impacted by many cost of living pressures. Whilst putting a price on carbon will have modest impacts on costs of living, they will be anticipated and the Government has committed to ensuring low income households will be assisted to meet them.
“ACOSS is working within the NGO Roundtable and Household Assistance Working Group to ensure that low income households are given financial assistance that is properly indexed to meet real cost of living increases caused by a carbon price.
“ACOSS is also part of an coalition of groups, including the ACTU, Australian Conservation Foundation, and The Climate Institute, which recently unveiled a combined policy platform designed to lay the necessary foundations for Australia’s transition to a low-carbon pollution economy.
“The platform emphasises the need for a price on pollution as soon as possible, supported by a range of complementary measures to develop clean industries and support households, workers and communities.
“We need to make some changes in order to avoid the impacts of climate change. A carbon price is one of the actions that will begin the process of transition.
“The impacts of a carbon price, as modelled by Treasury, will be manageable and households with low incomes will be buffered from these impacts. If we do not begin to make these transitions now, they will only become more expensive. If we just don’t make transition at all, climate change will be unimaginably expensive and hit hardest those who can least manage to cope,” Goldie said.
Media Contact: Fernando de Freitas 0419 626 155
Latest ACOSS releases and papers:
Necessary foundations for Australia’s transition to a low-carbon economy
Household compensation: direct cash assistance based on essential expenditure not income
ACOSS Carbon Price and Low Income Household Position Paper