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Combet Right to Urge States to Change

August 24, 2011

Misleading ... Minister for climate change Greg Combet says Tony Abbott is propagating fear and myths.

Combet is right to urge the states to move out of their various climate schemes as the federal government’s carbon pricing regime comes into place. Business suggests there are over 200 such schemes and compliance costs are high.

In his speech yesterday at the National Press Club Greg Combey said:

I will be having discussions with my state counterparts [in a “select council” of COAG environment ministers] in coming months about this issue, and I think as the dust settles and the carbon price legislation is passed, and we start to do the implementation, we intend advancing the argument that it (the market mechanism) is the most efficient, least-cost way of reducing pollution in our economy…

The minister is right. The argument is simple: put a price on carbon and the market will drive the adjustment. The market will settle on wind, solar, gas or hot rocks. These should not be the subject of itsy-bitsy subsidy schemes to pick winners. Once we have an overall carbon pricing mechanism the market will be able to do the job and we will reach that 20 percent renewables target faster.

5 Comments
  1. Alex Banzic permalink
    August 24, 2011 12:47 pm

    One note about Combet – in his time as a Minister he has never visited Western Australia, despite numerous requests. I understand he has cancelled 5 times. One would think a climate change minister would be interested in visiting.

  2. August 24, 2011 2:14 pm

    It is simply incomprehensible to me that we cannot as a nation get our act together and do something constructive with alternative power generation. I was lucky enough to spend a month in Spain last year, where you will drive past literally km’s of solar farms and wind farms. I guess part of the problem is that relative to most developed parts of the world, our power is cheap and until such times as it becomes unaffordable or we run out of fossil fuel options, nothing is going to change.

  3. August 24, 2011 4:14 pm

    This post is correct only if the carbon price is high enough. The carbon price proposed by the Gillard Government is not, and so complementary measures are required. That is why the MRET and industry development policies are still important.

  4. August 24, 2011 4:21 pm

    The Health Services Union is reported to have decided today to have the police investigate Craig Thompson’s use of his credit card when he was their national secretary, saying, “It’s our job to look after our members, not the Labor Party”, the bookies have “before the end of 2011” as the most likely option, (out of 6 options,) for when the next federal election will be held, and the bookies have the Gillard government as very strong favourites to be beaten in the next federal election whenever it is held. Interesting times!

  5. peter tuck permalink
    August 25, 2011 8:45 pm

    In response to that last thread, I would hope that Combet/Gillard decide to bring forward the implementation date for the CPRS once passed in the next session. If as D Beck appears to hope the Gillard Government is forced into a premature election and loses, then at least I would hope the irreversible C tax legislation is in play. Nothing else much matters, except that ALP pre-selections might be a tad more rigorous in future. Such a shame. I don’t blame Gillard for playing hard ball on the cloudy future of her government whatever the private failings of the member for Dobell who should quickly give a full and frank admission of his human frailties; make arrangements for re-payment, apologise to all and promise to spend the rest of his limited tenure working tirelessly for his constituents. It just might work!

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