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Greenhouse debate causing 'jitterbug syndrome' in industry

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Ian McLachlan 3B Media Release Shadow M inister for Industry and Commerce



Australian industry was suffering from the 'jitterbug syndrome' at the bewildering possibility of a variety of environmental regulations and controls, the Shadow Minister for Industry and Commerce said last night.

'The cost of this uncertainty and confusion is lost investment in new mines, industries and jobs.

'Several recent studies have looked at the costs of this uncertainty, and the likely flow on from the implementation of a carbon tax which might be used to encourage the reduction of greenhouse gases.

'The findings were depressingly familiar - increases in consumer and business costs, investment, productivity and growth rates.

Ά study by the ACIL consultancy found that the cost to Australia is likely to be two or three times higher than previously estimated and more costly here than in any other country. ■


'Of course, the Government has yet to make a final decision on the implementation of a carbon tax and that is yet another of the uncertainties affecting Australian industry which is reflected in our investment figures.'

Mr McLachlan was in Melbourne to launch in Australia the book 'The Heated Debate: Greenhouse Predictions versus Climate Reality' which examines issues related to global warming.

'Professor Robert Balling's book observes that those at both extremes of the greenhouse debate have appeared to find solid evidence to support their views whilst the majority of scientists fell somewhere in between.

'However in the end, it will be the scientific community with its constant questioning and searching, uncovering new ways to measure and determine technical theory, which will ultimately shape the outcome and policy response on this issue.

'In the meantime, the uncertainty - the jitterbug syndrome - will continue to hobble business confidence which in turn restrains the development of new industries which will provide the wealth to correct the unfortunate environmental errors of the past' Mr McLachlan added.

Further information: Ian McLachlan Shadow Minister for Industry and Commerce Telephone: 06 2772039. 27 May, 1992.