Senate debates

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Regulations and Determinations

Clean Energy Auction Revocation Determination 2014; Disallowance

1:44 pm

Photo of Kim CarrKim Carr (Victoria, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader for Science) Share this | Hansard source

I indicate that the opposition will not be supporting this disallowance motion. The revocation of the voluntary auction for carbon units is, in our judgement, nothing more than a political stunt by the government. Labor's position is clear. We are committed to ending the carbon tax as long as it is replaced with an emissions-trading scheme. Labor's clean energy bill amendments will propose a shift to an emissions-trading scheme by 1 July 2014. The voluntary auction would have no impact on the introduction of Labor's ETS. If the government would support our position, the auctions could be brought on again. It is clear that business would not have participated in this auction, given the level of uncertainty in the market that has been created by the government's attempt to dismantle Labor's clean energy policy.

In fact, the Clean Energy Regulator told an estimates hearing of the Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee that there was no evidence of any market interest for the carbon units, given the uncertainty of the current government's legislation. The CER would be going through the motions to create an auction at some considerable expense and with no meaningful outcome. The government is clearly trying to get some political mileage from this issue; yet, there is none. It is clearly a ploy by the government to paint Labor as backing down on climate policy. That is simply not the case.

We will allow the auctions to be stopped and we maintain our position that Australia needs an effective policy to tackle climate change. It is equally clear that this government has no credible policy to achieve that outcome.


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