The Federal Government’s $2.55 billion Direct Action climate plan will pass the Senate.
The Federal Government has struck a deal with crossbench senators to pass its $2.55 billion Direct Action climate plan, but won’t be abolishing the Climate Change Authority (CCA) as promised in the election. Instead, the CCA will conduct an 18-month investigation into an emissions trading scheme (ETS).
Palmer United Party’s leader Clive Palmer has done a deal with the Government and changed his stance on the Direct Action policy. In June, Mr Palmer said that the policy was a “waste of money”, but yesterday said he saw a “lot of positive initiatives” and said, “I’m very confident in the minister taking the stand and supporting at least looking at the prospect of an ETS”.
Environment Minister Greg Hunt said the government would achieve its target of five per cent emissions reduction by 2020, and while allowing the CCA to investigate an ETS, the Government was still opposed to a carbon tax.
"We are making a massive saving for Australia, implementing our emissions reduction policies, getting rid of a carbon tax which was having an impact on every family and we're doing it in the only way that was possible and this is a very, very good outcome for the government and for the people," he said.
Tony Abbott has been Prime Minister of Australia for a total of one year and 42 days, yet we are only now seeing one of his party’s core election promises, Direct Action, passing through the senate.
Earlier this week we saw the Federal Government push through the indexation of the fuel excise by regulation, rather than legislation, in order to bypass the same Senate that stalled the Direct Action plan for so long. The sneaky implementation of the increased fuel excise by the Government this week was a direct slap in the face to the Senate, who most likely would have voted down the legislation change or at very least, held it up for months, even years, with negotiations.
The people of Australia had their say in the last election, voting on the core election issues, yet the move from a carbon tax based system to the Federal Government’s Direct Action plan has taken significantly longer than it should have.
I understand the need for checks and balances in our legislative process. Healthy debate and difference of opinion is preferable to a dictatorship, but there should be no opposition from the losing side, post-election, on core policies which have the support of the people. All sides of politics need to come to an agreement that they will work together to implement the policies fought over at the next election within a reasonable time-frame and with maximum flexibility.
What do you think? Will the Government’s Direct Action plan work to reduce emissions by five per cent? Is our political system all show and no action? Would politicians’ time be better spent in an office every day rather than publicly slinging insults across the parliament floor? Should core election promises be fast-tracked?
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