Carbon tax may never happen, says key independent

He has rightly twigged that it "does nothing"

ONE of the independents Julia Gillard will rely on to get her carbon tax across the line has warned it may never become a reality.

New England MP Tony Windsor today said he would not vote for a package of climate change measures “that does nothing”. “There is no carbon tax, there may not be a carbon tax,” Mr Windsor told ABC radio this morning.

Mr Windsor said people in his rural NSW electorate were concerned about the lack of detail around the proposed carbon tax.

Climate Change Minister Greg Combet released more details of the government's proposed carbon price yesterday, pledging more than 50 per cent of revenue from the tax would be returned to millions of households and reassuring businesses on the impact of the scheme.

The Prime Minister played down Mr Windsor's comments this morning, describing them as “perfectly consistent with everything he has ever said about pricing carbon”. “He has said consistently, and I very much respect this, that he would wait to the end and judge the full package,” she said.

Ahead of a visit to his electorate by the government's chief climate change adviser Ross Garnaut today, Mr Windsor said he was happy to work with other members of the multi-party climate change committee, but wouldn't guarantee his support for the carbon tax. “The Prime Minister doesn't have the numbers as I understand it,” he said. “When things get into the parliament people have a vote; I have a vote, others do as well. You can never get anything until it gets through a minority parliament,” he said.

“I'm not inclined to vote for something that does nothing if we can get something that does something I'm more than happy to vote for it.”

Ms Gillard said consultations with business, community and environment groups and unions would ensure a balanced package, which the government would present to parliament in the second half of this year.

“What Tony Windsor has said to me and said publicly is that he does believe climate change is real and that we need to tackle it, he does believe that pricing carbon is the best way, an important way of tackling climate change,” she said. “But for an individual legislative package he's going to look at the package and wait to the end and then judge.”


Working families to pay for the gesture

By Senator Barnaby Joyce

Minister Combet’s announcement that they are going to compensate working families for the cost of carbon tax should confirm one thing; a carbon tax is going to cost working families.

The fundamental issue here is that a carbon tax is not going to change the temperature of the globe or change the climate in any shape or form. It is merely a gesture. A gesture that means that those who are already finding it extremely difficult to get by are going to have that difficulty exacerbated by a pointless tax with a deceitful inference that it will the change global climatic conditions.

What is the point of taking money off people, spinning it around a bureaucracy and giving people back a bit of their own money and expecting be thanked for it? Why don’t you just let people keep their own money and go away?

In the meantime you put up the price of the fundamental mechanism of commerce, power, so what is now our competitive advantage? Obviously we don’t want lower wages so ultimately there will be fewer jobs.

Is Australia going to be reduced to a country that digs up red rocks and black rocks, iron and coal and sends them over to where they don’t have a carbon tax so they can produce the things we used to produce?

Doesn’t the government get it? The people don’t want this tax and surely the have some right in being respected on this decision.

Even on the CFMEU website, the majority of the workers don’t want a carbon tax. I’m sure that this is not a National Party stronghold, so my advice to the Labor party is, listen to your own people otherwise it will end up in tears, like the NSW election.


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