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Victorian Labor’s silent shame on carbon tax

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith has called on Daniel Andrews and four key Labor MPs to at last stand up for Victorians and their local councils against the carbon tax before it is introduced on Sunday July 1, which will guarantee a rate rise in Geelong, Bendigo, Hume and Wyndham areas.

The Clean Energy Regulator has listed local government authorities around Australia that will be directly liable under the carbon tax for emissions exceeding 25,000 tonnes of CO₂ a year. The four affected council landfills in Labor electorates are:

City of Greater Geelong – Lisa Neville (State Shadow Minister for Environment and Climate Change and Member for Bellarine)

City of Greater Bendigo – Maree Edwards (State Labor Member for Bendigo West)

Hume – Jo Duncan (State Labor Member for Macedon)

Wyndham – John Eren (State Labor Member for Lara)

"The naming of these local governments on the Clean Energy Regulator's Liable Entities Public Information Database has effectively put ratepayers in the City of Greater Geelong, City of Greater Bendigo, Hume and Wyndham on notice – you can expect a carbon tax rate rise courtesy of Julia Gillard and Daniel Andrews," Mr Smith said.

"Labor is ignoring councils in the west who will be forced to estimate the impact of the carbon tax on their budget calculations which will inform future decisions around rate increases.

"Councils operating landfills are required to estimate their emissions using a complex formula that assumes different carbon contents and decay rates for different waste materials which is an administrative nightmare.

"It is fantasy for Federal Labor to think that $10 a week in household assistance for the average family will amount to meaningful relief for Victorians who will pay the carbon tax on every item they purchase that uses electricity or gas in the production process," Mr Smith said.

The Gillard Labor Government is yet again short changing Victorians, and doing so with the support of Daniel Andrews and his Victorian Labor colleagues.

Under the Victorian Coalition Government's Conserve, Invest, Save package, $9.3 million in funding has been provided to support councils and landfill operators remove more organic matter from landfill which will also reduce their greenhouse emissions.

Other Conserve, Invest, Save announcements made by the Coalition Government include:

  • $3.8 million to improve the safety of regional landfills;
  • $11.5 million to boost Victoria's recycling and resource recovery infrastructure;
  • $1.6 million for local governments to target priority waste to cut waste to landfill; and
  • $2 million to help charities deal with the problem of illegal dumping of waste on their premises.

"The only time the Shadow Minister for Environment and Climate Change has uttered the words carbon tax has been to attack the Coalition Government for providing policy certainty by removing the state emissions target to avoid unnecessary duplication and $2 billion in additional costs to Victorians," Mr Smith said.

"Daniel Andrews and his fellow Labor Members for Bellarine, Bendigo West, Lara and Macedon have remained silent on the negative impacts of the carbon tax; they are more interested in supporting their mates in Canberra than looking after Victorian families and businesses."

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