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Time for leaders who support the carbon price to stand up and be counted



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Christine Milne

Australian Senate Australian Greens Acting Leader

Contact: Tim Hollo on 0437 587 562

media release

Monday 2 April 2012

Time for leaders who support the carbon price to stand up and be counted

The Australian Greens today urged leaders across business and the community who support putting a price on carbon to tackle the climate crisis to have the courage of their convictions and publicly support the reform.

“It’s time for those who know we can make this nation competitive in a rapidly changing world to stand up and say so,” Australian Greens Acting Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.

“Wherever I go around Australian and speak to leaders in business and the community, they all recognise that putting a price on pollution, investing in renewable energy and supporting householders is the cheapest and best way to start tackling climate change.

“It’s widely recognised that Tony Abbott’s so-called direct action will hit taxpayers hard, has no compensation, and cannot be ratcheted up to meet the increased ambition that the climate science demands.

“Tony Abbott scares the community by absurdly overstating the direct financial costs of the carbon price while ignoring the very real costs of climate change to the whole community and conveniently not mentioning that has own plan would slug taxpayers and give not a cent in support to householders.

“But, whilst Tony Abbott, the Australian Industry Group, the Business Council of Australia, the Minerals Council and others are out day after day attempting to slow down and derail climate action, too many of the people who know that Australia’s future competitiveness depends on making a fast transition to a low and then zero carbon economy are keeping their heads below the parapet.

“The Australian community loves solar power, loves the idea of an electric car fleet, of high speed rail, of a world class public transport system. But they are being told by Tony Abbott that they cannot have these things and that they must stay wedded to coal fired power, petrol cars stuck in traffic for hours, and increasing anxiety about more and more extreme weather events.

“Pricing carbon is about changing investment behaviour by making more polluting activity more expensive relative to cleaner activity - it’s an investment in our future that is worth making. But one of the key objectives of the Multi-Party Committee was to make sure that those Australians who are struggling would be more than amply assisted to meet rising costs through lifting the tax free threshold to $18,000 and increasing pensions and benefits.

“Australia is not a nation of naysayers. We embrace new technologies faster than any country on earth, we embrace new ideas, and we punch well above our weight in innovation.”