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Government faces two-pronged attack on emissi -

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PETER CAVE: For the Federal Government, facing a rising tide of unemployment over the next year,
the last news it wants to hear is that another load of jobs is set to go.

But that's exactly what modelling prepared for the Minerals Council is predicting will happen under
the emissions trading scheme.

According to them 23,500 jobs, half of them in Queensland, will disappear over the next 10 years
with that figure doubling over 20 years.

The Government says that its modelling shows that employment overall will grow.

Our chief political correspondent Lyndal Curtis reports.

LYNDAL CURTIS: It's the latest fad - government ministers are putting on hard hats and high
visibility jackets as they tramp over construction sites across the nation.

And the presenters on Melbourne radio 3AW didn't want the Opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull left
out.

3AW PRESENTER: You need one of them.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Oh yes well you know I need it.

3AW PRESENTER: We're handing him an orange vest because rumour reaches us that the Prime Minister
had to go into the passport office during the week and change his passport photograph because they
do not recognise him if he hasn't got a hard hat and an orange vest on.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Exactly, exactly.

LYNDAL CURTIS: But if the modelling for the Minerals Council is right, there'll be fewer hard hat
sales once the emissions trading scheme comes in.

The council's CEO, Mitch Hook says, the job losses - predicated on the Government's lowest target
for emissions cuts - will be compounded by the spill over into the communities that serve the
industry.

MITCH HOOKE: A multiplier effect on that of something like two, two times, it's very conservative
flow on, that's the spill over effects to the community level. So you could multiply that by two,
so you know, you could be up to nearly 30,000 to 40,000 jobs by 2020 and then up to 100,000 jobs,
total jobs by 2030.

LYNDAL CURTIS: But the Climate Change Minister Penny Wong has her own modelling and although she
conceded on Radio National that mining industry jobs would be lost, she didn't utter the words.

FRANK KELLY: Is it your view, are you telling us that the changes that will occur in this nation
because of an emissions trading scheme will not mean any job losses in the minerals sector?

PENNY WONG: No what I'm saying is the modelling that we put out last year showed that all major
employment sectors would continue to grow.

What I'm also saying is that the Government has put in place substantial assistance to industry and
the reason we've put assistance to various industries is because we do understand the importance of
supporting jobs as we transition to a low carbon economy.

LYNDAL CURTIS: Business suits are the order of the day in Canberra as a Senate committee
scrutinises the legislation that will enact the scheme.

But the Coalition is complaining that, given the pages and pages of legislation, the committee
isn't being given enough time or a representative list of witnesses to allow for proper scrutiny of
the bill.

Liberal Senator Alan Eggleston made the point during the committee's hearing.

ALAN EGGLESTON: The outcome of this inquiry, endorsement of the Government's legislative changes,
is already decided. The Government has hijacked the inquiry process to its own ends and we believe
is engaging in an abusive process.

LYNDAL CURTIS: Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce did so as well, a little less formally, at a
doorstop the two senators held.

BARNABY JOYCE: We've just received something that's slightly bigger than "War and Peace" - 1300
pages that's been launched on our desk. And they said, oh if you can have that polished off by
tomorrow night and tell us what it's all about and then write an essay on it and then go into the
exam and get a credit or better, you know everything will be sweet.

Well this is a load of rubbish - 1300 pages - I need the time, Eggie needs the time, the Senate
needs the time to go through this.

I need to read the 1300 pages, I need to understand it, I need to be able to call up people on the
telephone and say can you come in here and have a yarn about this? I need to be able to have the
time so that I can work those people into their dairies, they can't just drop everything and come
tear-arsing down to Canberra because Barney's on the phone.

LYNDAL CURTIS: Senator Joyce is also concerned about job losses and rejects the argument that
people will be able to pick up new jobs in green industries.

BARNABY JOYCE: This is cloud cuckoo land rubbish. I mean where, I mean so what do we do? As I said
what are we going to have - factories making wind chimes in Nimbin? This sort of garbage that we're
going to take out, you know, tens of thousands of mining workers and they're all going to jump in
their caravans and then like a procedure, like a caravan of love proceed down to some Nirvana like
valley where they'll all be in you know, I don't know, doing what - making photovoltaic cells. Show
me where these jobs are. How are you going to do this?

LYNDAL CURTIS: The Government is getting pressure from all sides as crunch time for the legislation
approaches. But the minister isn't wavering.

PENNY WONG: I know there's going to be a lot of debate. I know there'll be people paying for lots
of reports to back their claims.

We've had a lot of discussion about this, we've had a lot of consideration and our view as the
Government is that it is in the national interest to do what Australians want which is to take
action on climate change.

LYNDAL CURTIS: She may not be bowing to pressure from the lobby groups but the detail in the
Minerals Council modelling shows that many jobs will be lost in Labor electorates and that's
usually a model hard for politicians to ignore.

PETER CAVE: Lyndal Curtis reporting.