The Coalition has given voice to thousands of Australians the Government tried to silence on the carbon tax debate, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment Simon Birmingham said today.
Senator Birmingham is one of five Coalition Members and Senators on a carbon tax legislation inquiry committee – dominated by nine Labor and Greens proponents of the legislation – which has reported today*.
“Australians have demonstrated their passionate objection to the carbon tax, and also the way Julia Gillard is rushing ahead with the legislation despite having promised before the election that there would be no carbon tax, by swamping the inquiry with submissions.
“This rushed ‘shotgun’ inquiry received more than 4500 emails in barely a week, but in an extraordinary abuse of democratic process the Labor-Greens majority opted not to receive them as submissions or publish them.
“By contrast, the Coalition’s dissenting report quotes extensively from these thousands of concerned Australians, as well as industry groups, think thanks, welfare organisations and other organisations raising valid concerns with the Government’s misguided approach.
“The Coalition’s minority report considers:
  • the breach of trust from the Gillard Labor Government and the complicity of the trade union movement in that broken promise;
  • the extent to which this policy is putting Australia out of step with the rest of the world and the false assumptions on which it has been modelled;
  • the ineffectiveness of this policy in reducing emissions and the impact of Australia outsourcing action through the use of international permits;
  • the pain the policy will cause to households through increased cost of living pressures;
  • the impact on small businesses of rising input costs and their ability to recoup those costs;
  • different communities that will feel particular pressure, with a focus on local government, regional Australia and the community welfare sector;
  • some of the key industries that will be compromised by the carbon tax, especially those that are trade exposed;
  • the crippling impact it will have on Australia’s international economic competitiveness and job availability;
  • that far more than the claimed 500 companies will pay the carbon tax; and
  • the farcical way in which this inquiry was conducted.
“For all of these and other reasons addressed in our report, Coalition Members and Senators recommend the Government’s carbon tax legislation not be passed and that Australia pursue a less harmful, more effective means to meet our emissions reductions targets.”
*The inquiry’s report, including the Coalition’s dissenting report, is available at H