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Notice given 8 May 2009

1498  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister for Climate Change and Water—

(1) With reference to the last dot point on page 14 of the 2009 Exposure draft: Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Bill 2009: Commentary : (a) can a list be provided of what are the ‘major economies’ in question; (b) can ‘substantially restrain’ be defined; (c) can a list be provided of what are the ‘advanced economies’ in question; and (d) can ‘comparable’, in this context, be defined (does this mean overall cuts or per capita).

(2) Is the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) a tax or not a tax.

(3) With reference to the statement on page 12 of the exposure draft that ‘in case the charge for Australian emissions units issued as a result of an auction or for a fixed charge is, at some time in the future, considered to be taxation’, how does the department envisage this potential change in definition taking place.

(4) (a) Why is it necessary to have exposure drafts of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (Charges - General) Bill 2009, the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (Charges - Customs) Bill 2009, and the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (Charges - Excise) Bill 2009; and (b) what would be the consequence of not having these three bills passed into law.

(5) Has the Government sought any legal advice on whether the CPRS is a tax or is not a tax; if so, what was the total cost of that advice; if not, why not.

(6) How many regulations will be required to fully enact the CPRS.

(7) On what date will the first, and last, of these regulations be made.

(8) (a) How many regulations will be created under Chapter 4 of the bill which deals with emissions intensive, trade exposed industries; and (b) on what date will the first, and last, of these regulations be made.

(9) What is the estimated cost to business: (a) of determining their eligibility; and (b) of complying with the reporting requirements, under the emissions intensive, trade exposed assistance program.


 (10) In regard to example 1.2 on page 40 of the exposure draft commentary where it states that ‘Company A is only liable for the fugitive emissions of 23 000 tonnes of CO 2 -e’, would company A be exempt from the CPRS because it is below the 25 000 tonne threshold; if not, why not.

(11) In regard to carbon sequestration rights, who owns the right in the case of a managed investment scheme.

(12) What is the estimated cost of the computer program/system to work out the unit entitlement to be specified in a certificate of reforestation.

(13) In regard to example 6.2 on page 186 of the exposure draft commentary, is the Minister stating that eligible reforestation projects will reduce the value of the farm land on which it is planted.

(14) In regard to section 9.26 in Chapter 9 ‘Compliance and enforcement’ of the exposure draft commentary, does the ‘assistant’ to an inspector require any form of appointment, certification or training.

(15) In regard to section 312 of the exposure draft, can other examples be provided (e.g. authorities, agencies etc) where inspectors can compel persons to answer questions on threat of imprisonment, with no exemption on the grounds of self-incrimination.

(16) What is Government’s projected total annual administrative budget for operating the CPRS.

(17) (a) What is the total number of Government employees that will be required to oversee the operation of the CPRS; and (b) what are the Australian Public Service classifications of these employees.

(18) (a) What will be the total cost of establishing the Australian Climate Change Regulatory Authority (ACCRA); (b) what will be the total annual cost of running the ACCRA; and (c) how many staff will ACCRA employ.

(19) Has the department identified the estimated 1 000 emitters who will be covered by the CPRS; if not, when will this be done.

(20) (a) How many small businesses and sub-contractors will have to report their emissions by virtue of a controlling contract/business being covered by the CPRS; and (b) what will be the annual cost to these small businesses and sub-contractors of having to report their emissions.

(21) What effect does the Government expect the current world recession will have on the world’s emissions and if emissions growth slow, to what degree and for how long.

(22) Given that it is accepted that the early 1990s recession had a measurable effect in reducing Australia’s emissions, what is the expected effect that the current economic slowdown in Australia will have on Australia’s emissions.

(23) Does the department have access to any modelling which explicitly models this legislation, that is, a five per cent emissions cut regardless of any action other countries do or do not take; if so, will the Government release this modelling; if not: (a) why not; and (b) will the Government commit to commissioning such modelling.

(24) How will free permits be treated for taxation and accounting purposes, i.e. will free permits be taxable.