5 September 2012
The Gillard Government’s carbon tax has fallen into greater disarray just two months after it was introduced, with the announcement today that the contract for closure program for power stations will be abandoned.
Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources Ian Macfarlane said the decision not to go ahead with the buyout of higher emissions power stations was more proof that the carbon tax is a flawed and destructive policy.
“The Gillard Government’s carbon tax has always been about making electricity more expensive, by driving up the costs to produce and distribute coal-fired power,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“It now risks causing further cost pressures and undermining energy supply by aborting the contract for closure program.
“The Gillard Government’s carbon tax and the doomed contract for closure program have been disastrous policies right from the start.
“Because of the Prime Minister’s broken promise not to introduce a carbon tax, power stations have been scrambling to negotiate the conditions for closure, a process with serious ramifications for electricity reliability and cost.
“Along with there being no carbon price compensation for black coal-fired power stations in Queensland and New South Wales, it’s clear that the terms for negotiation under the contract for closure program were inadequate after the failure to meet the original deadline earlier this year and the subsequent breakdown in the program.
“This chaos has now deepened. By abandoning the program the Gillard Government is causing yet more uncertainty for the power industry, leaving power stations to keep operating under the carbon tax regardless of the consequences for electricity-generation costs.
“Just weeks after it was introduced, the Gillard Government continues to change the rules for the carbon tax, creating more uncertainty for the energy sector and for energy consumers.
“The simplest way to get rid of this chaos would be to scrap the carbon tax.”