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Archives for February 2011

Details Of The Proposed Carbon Pricing Mechanism

The Multi-Party Climate Change Committee has proposed a carbon price leading to an emissions trading scheme.

The carbon price is to take effect from July 1, 2012. A fixed price will operate for 3-5 years, after which a full cap and trade emissions trading scheme will take its place.

Details of the Carbon Price Mechanism are shown below.

Statement from Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Minister Greg Combet.

Climate change framework announced

The Prime Minister Julia Gillard today outlined the Government’s plan to cut pollution, tackle climate change and deliver the economic reform Australia needs to move to a clean energy future.

This is an essential economic reform, and it is the right thing to do.

The two-stage plan for a carbon price mechanism will start with a fixed price period for three to five years before transitioning to an emissions trading scheme. [Read more…]

Gillard, Greens And Independents Agree On Carbon Price And Future ETS

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced that the Multi-Party Climate Change Committee has agreed on a carbon mechanism which involves a fixed price on carbon for three to five years followed by a full cap and trade emissions trading scheme.

Gillard and Climate Change Minister Greg Combet spoke at a press conference today with the Greens Senator Bob Brown and Senator Christine Milne. They were accompanied by the independent members Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott.

The carbon pricing mechanism is to be introduced on July 1, 2012. The details of the scheme will be developed over the next few months. [Read more…]

Social Media As A Tool For Protest

By Marko Papic and Sean Noonan

Internet services were reportedly restored in Egypt on Feb. 2 after being completely shut down for two days. Egyptian authorities unplugged the last Internet service provider (ISP) still operating Jan. 31 amidst ongoing protests across the country. The other four providers in Egypt — Link Egypt, Vodafone/Raya, Telecom Egypt and Etisalat Misr — were shut down as the crisis boiled over on Jan. 27. Commentators immediately assumed this was a response to the organizational capabilities of social media websites that Cairo could not completely block from public access.

The role of social media in protests and revolutions has garnered considerable media attention in recent years. Current conventional wisdom has it that social networks have made regime change easier to organize and execute. An underlying assumption is that social media is making it more difficult to sustain an authoritarian regime — even for hardened autocracies like Iran and Myanmar — which could usher in a new wave of democratization around the globe. In a Jan. 27 YouTube interview, U.S. President Barack Obama went as far as to compare social networking to universal liberties such as freedom of speech. [Read more…]

Cyclone Yasi, Soldier’s Death, Egypt: Today’s Briefings

Some of today’s political announcements and briefings. [Read more…]

Bligh Warns Of Catastrophic Power Failures Across Northern Queensland

11.45pm AEDT UPDATE – Anna Bligh and Ian Stewart have given their final media briefing for the night. Briefings will resume in the morning.

Bligh said 89,000 homes are now without power, mainly in Townsville and Ingham. The peak of the storm surge is still 2 hours away and will last 4 hours after that.

Deputy Commissioner Stewart reported on 6 people in their 60s in Hinchinbrook who have been advised to seek safety on the second floor of their building. The first floor is expected to be flooded. [Read more…]

Abbott Seeks Donations To Fight Flood Levy

Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is under fire tonight for an email sent to the Liberal Party’s email subscribers.

The email sets out Abbott’s arguments against the flood levy. It attacks the Prime Minister as “out of her depth”, and describes the levy as “the Gillard Government’s latest raid on people’s wallets. It calls for the deferral of the National Broadband Network and urges budget savings as a substitute for the flood levy.

The email concludes with: “PS. Click to donate to help our campaign against Labor’s flood tax.” Clicking the link takes the reader to the online donations page of the Liberal Party’s website.

The levy was was announced last week by Julia Gillard. It is designed to contribute $1.8 billion towards flood reconstruction. For every dollar it raised, the government is cutting budget spending by two dollars.

This is the email sent today:

Tony Abbott email 1/2

Tony Abbott email 2/2

Tony Crook Supports Flood Levy

The independent Nationals MP Tony Crook will support the flood levy legislation in the House of Representatives, in a blow to Tony Abbott’s attempts to block the tax.

Crook is the member for O’Connor, the Western Australian electorate he won from the Liberal Party’s Wilson Tuckey at last year’s election. Whilst broadly supportive of the coalition, Crook has voted with the government on a number of pieces of legislation and procedural motions.

This is the text of a statement posted on Tony Crook’s website.

Tony Crook

Support for Commonwealth Flood Response Package, Crook

FEDERAL Member for O’Connor Tony Crook today announced he would support the proposed Commonwealth Flood Response Package, due to be introduced when Parliament resumes next week.

Mr Crook this morning held discussions with Prime Minister Julia Gillard regarding the detail of the funding package.

“After careful consideration of the facts that I have been provided to date in relation to the implementation of the levy, infrastructure deferrals and program cuts, I am satisfied that the Government’s responses (sic) is adequate and responsible,” Mr Crook said.

“My support is conditional upon me reviewing the draft legislation, which is expected to be introduced into the Parliament late next week, and is consistent with the advice currently provided to me.”

Mr Crook sought assurances that residents of the Gascoyne would be able to seek exemptions from the levy if they were affected by the floods, which the Prime Minister provided today.

“Furthermore, the Prime Minister also confirmed to me today that there are no plans for Commonwealth funded WA infrastructure projects to be cut or delayed as a result of the flood package,” he said.

“This directly recognises the importance of these infrastructure projects in supporting WA’s critical role in the National economy.”

Mr Crook also said that any discussions regarding a new and stand alone Natural Disaster Relief Fund should be considered separately.

“Such a natural disaster fund would provide Governments at both State and Federal level with the ability to better prepare for and recover from significant events,” he said.

“However, right now we have a catastrophic event that we need to deal with and we have a responsibility to do this in a timely manner.”

“I appreciate the many Australians that have contacted me to express a view on the flood levy, I am convinced that a response which shares the responsibility between Government and the taxpayer to an event that is shaping up to be our most significant natural disaster in economic terms, is appropriate.”

Mr Crook said he hoped that if the shoe was on the other foot that his fellow Eastern States colleagues would be supporting Western Australia and O’Connor to deal with whatever disaster that may arise.

Cyclone Yasi About To Hit: Bligh And Gillard Speak

Cyclone Yasi is about to hit far north Queensland and Premier Anna Bligh and Prime Minister Julia Gillard have spoken at press conferences to offer advice and support to people in the cyclone’s path.

Julia Gillard [Read more…]

Julia Gillard: This Is My Vision For The Nation

The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has outlined her “vision for the nation”, an economic future beyond the mining boom that positions Australia as a flexible market economy, highly skilled, high-tech, and low-pollution.

Julia GillardOutlining her vision in a speech to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia, in Melbourne, Gillard spoke of the benefits and challenges of the mining boom. She described a high participation, high productivity economy, a “stable macroeconomy, creating certainty for economic decision making.”

She stressed the need for flexible markets, skills, infrastructure, research and development and entrepreneurship. “With courage and imagination, we can build a high-skill, high-tech, low-pollution economy that will succeed independent of our mineral wealth. That is my vision for the nation. A fundamental reshaping of the Australian economy as profound in scale and ambition as the reforms of the Hawke-Keating government, which opened our economy to the world.” [Read more…]

Today’s Political Activity

These are today’s briefings from Queensland Premier Anna Bligh and others on Cyclone Yasi. [Read more…]