10 August 2011
An alliance of Australia’s leading social, union, environment and independent research organisations predicts significant economic and environmentally effective benefits for Queensland if the Federal Parliament backs legislation to price carbon pollution.
In Brisbane today, the Southern Cross Climate Coalition released its analysis of the Government’s Clean Energy Future Plan, highlighting how it will help Queensland householders, workers and the environment.
The plan is a critical first step and has the potential to stop up to 1.1 billion tonnes of pollution going into our skies between now and 2020, while delivering more than $4.5 billion a year to households a combination of increased payments and tax cuts.
Australian Council of Social Service CEO, Cassandra Goldie, said: “The householder assistance package will provide people on low incomes with assistance to cover the anticipated modest increases in costs flowing to consumers. The Government has committed to maintain the value of payments through regular indexation and a review. We have some concerns about the adequacy of assistance for those on the lowest incomes, initially and over time, and will closely monitor the detail of legislation and implementation. Investments in energy efficiency are a useful start to helping low income households minimise their bill. We’ll be working to maximise the employment opportunities in a cleaner economy”.
“The pollution tax is targeted at the boardroom table, not the kitchen table. It provides our 500 biggest polluters with an incentive to cut emissions, while allowing tax breaks and cash payments to households,” The Climate Institute CEO, John Connor, said.
Australian Conservation Foundation CEO, Don Henry, said Queenslanders must not lose sight of why climate action is needed. “This plan provides the foundation for Australia to start doing our bit in the global effort to tackle climate change and protecting national icons like the Great Barrier Reef,” he said.
If well designed, the proposed $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation, to be funded with revenue from the carbon price, has the potential to help unlock Queensland’s abundant solar energy resources, providing new job opportunities in regional areas.
The plan includes more than $13.3 billion over four years to help Australian industry and workers adjust to the carbon price.
“The Clean Energy Future Plan will help all Australian workers, including those in Queensland, be part of a clean energy, low pollution economy. Existing jobs will be protected and new ones created,” Australian Council of Trade Unions President, Ged Kearney, said.
The Climate Institute – John Connor – 0413 968 475
ACOSS – Fernando de Freitas – 0419 626 155
ACTU – Amanda Nguyen – 0418 479 455
ACF – Josh Meadows – 0439 342 992