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Abbott absurdities on climate change - Bulletin No.5

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THE HON GREG COMBET AM MP Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency


GC 186/11 24 June 2011


This week the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, persisted with his campaign of stunts and nonsense against the Government’s plan to put a price tag on pollution.

Stunt: Mr Abbott said he would put a bill before both Houses of Parliament at 10am on Monday 20 June, seeking a plebiscite on the carbon price.

Outcome: Mr Abbott was unaware the House of Representatives was not sitting at 10am on Monday. He also confirmed he would ignore the result of a plebiscite if it did not go his way.

Claim 1: “The Government wants to hit everyone with a great big new tax, I think there is a smarter way that involves more trees, more carbon in soils and using smart technology to turn carbon dioxide emissions into useful products” (Tony Abbott, ABC AM, 20 June 2011).

Fact: If he was serious about more trees and carbon in soils, Mr Abbott would have supported the Government’s Carbon Farming Initiative. The Coalition voted against this legislation, which gives farmers and landholders access to carbon markets worth millions of dollars a year.

Claim 2: “It is a tax on energy designed to raise billions and billions of dollars” (Julie Bishop, MTR 1377 Radio, 20 June 2011).

Fact: Mr Abbott’s Deputy doesn’t understand the Government’s plan is to put a price on carbon pollution - not to tax energy. She also ignores the Government’s commitment that every cent raised from the carbon price will be used to assist households, support jobs and tackle climate change.

Claim 3: “There will be 45,000 jobs lost in energy-intensive industries. There will be 126,000 jobs lost mainly in regional Australia.” (Tony Abbott, Hansard, 21 June 2011).

Fact: Modelling by Treasury and other sources has consistently shown the economy will continue to grow strongly under a carbon price, with new jobs being created in low pollution sectors more than high pollution sectors.

While absurdity remains the Opposition Leader’s standard operating procedure, I will continue issuing these Bulletins to hold Mr Abbott accountable for the way he is misleading the public.

Media contact: Mark Davis 0400 295 560; Gia Hayne 0412 060 406