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Labor will not join Greens in fight against revoking carbon auctions

Mark Butler, Australia

Mark Butler at a press conference in Canberra. Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP


Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Labor will not join Greens in fight against revoking carbon auctions” was written by Lenore Taylor, political editor, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 25th February 2014 04.00 UTC

Labor has confirmed it will not join the Greens to prevent the government from revoking carbon permit auctions in which no one was likely to bid anyway.

Labor’s environment spokesman, Mark Butler, said the decision did not change Labor’s position against the carbon tax repeal, nor its support for an emissions trading scheme starting in 2014-15.

“It is clear business would not have participated in this auction, given the uncertainty in the market created by the government’s attempt to dismantle Labor’s clean energy policy,” Butler said.

“In fact, the clean energy regulator told Senate estimates yesterday that there was no evidence of any market interest for these carbon units given the uncertainty of the current government legislation and the CER would be going through the motions to create an auction at some considerable expense and with no meaningful outcome.”

Carbon industry experts confirmed that since most businesses expected the carbon price would be repealed by the new Senate after July, it was unlikely businesses would buy permits in the auctions, due to be held by June. Most would assume that, in the unlikely event the carbon price survived the parliament, auctions could be constituted later.

“Given the government’s intention to repeal the tax and all the uncertainty surrounding the policy at the moment, it difficult to see anyone wanting to participate in an auction before July,” Norton Rose Fulbright partner Elisa de Wit told Guardian Australia on Monday.

The environment minister, Greg Hunt, said the decision was “a very significant moment … it is the moment when the ALP has started to crumble in its support for the carbon tax”. He called on the ALP to vote for the carbon tax repeal.


guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

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