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Labor yet to respond to Greens motion on carbon auctions

Christine Milne, Australia

Australian Greens leader Christine Milne: ‘Industry should take zero notice of this political stunt from the Abbott government.’ Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP


Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Labor yet to respond to Greens motion on carbon auctions” was written by Bridie Jabour, for theguardian.com on Monday 24th February 2014 02.35 UTC

Labor has not yet indicated whether it will support a motion by the Greens in the Senate to disallow the Coalition’s move to stop auctions of carbon credits.

Environment minister Greg Hunt has signed a revocation stopping the upcoming auctions of carbon credits. Christine Milne has confirmed the Greens will move a motion to disallow the revocation, labelling it a stunt.

Under current legislation, business are required to buy up carbon credits about a year in advance in anticipation of the emissions they are expected to make. The next round of auctions, which Hunt is stopping, were for permits for 2015 to 2016. Hunt has signed the Clean Energy Auction Revocation Determination 2014 which will come into effect on Tuesday but the Senate could block the move by passing a motion against it.

“This gives business certainty that they no longer need to take part in carbon unit auctions,” Hunt said.

Greens leader Christine Milne has confirmed the Greens will move a motion to disallow the revocation but Labor are yet to say whether they will support it or not.

“Industry should take zero notice of this political stunt from the Abbott government,” Milne said.

“… We will use every possible parliamentary lever to maintain the price on pollution, which is helping to address global warming and prevent future extreme drought, bushfires and storms.”

Milne said Hunt and the prime minister were playing politics with the Labor party because they know the Senate will reject the repeal of the carbon tax. Hunt singled out opposition leader Bill Shorten in his statement announcing the revocation, saying if Labor united with the Greens it would be disallowed.

“Bill Shorten has a very clear choice. Does he support higher electricity prices or does he support Australian families and business? He can’t have it both ways,” he said. “Does Bill Shorten believe in higher electricity prices for Australian families? We’ll soon know the answer. Labor says they don’t support the carbon tax anymore, yet they refuse to vote to repeal it. They’re all talk, no action.”

Hunt said scrapping the auctions was an important step by the government.

Shorten’s office directed enquiries to environment spokesperson Mark Butler.

Three auctions were due to take place before 30 June this year.


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