Australian news, and some related international items

Australian Greens will stand firm in the Senate – for carbon pricing, action on climate change

Milne,-Christine-13Christine Milne warns Greens must retain balance of power in Senate to block repeal of carbon tax ABC By Monique Ross 4 Sept 13, Greens leader Christine Milne has warned voters that unless her party retains the balance of power in the Senate, Tony Abbott may have free rein to “tear down carbon pricing mechanisms”.

The Opposition Leader has today reaffirmed his commitment to repealing the carbon price in favour of his Direct Action policy if he is elected to the top job. While Labor MPs have said they would block the move, Mr Abbott says that would be political suicide, and has repeatedly threatened to call a double dissolution election on the issue.

Senator Milne says the Greens are needed in the Senate to “stand firm against Tony Abbott” for the sake of the global environment. “If Tony Abbott has effective control of both houses, then he will be able to do as he likes,” she told ABC News 24’s Capital Hill.

“He will be able to tear down the carbon pricing mechanisms. He will be able to get rid of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. Who knows what he would do to the environment.

“It is critical that the people who actually believe the science, who want this to be evidence-based policy, are there to argue it because Tony Abbott doesn’t believe in evidence-based policy. He thinks climate change is crap.”

Senator Milne rounded on Mr Abbott’s concession that his policy may not succeed in reaching Australia’s target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 5 per cent by 2020. “He has been able to get off the hook here. Nobody has really unpacked his Direct Action farce,” she said.

“Is he walking away from his 5 per cent reduction target? Greg Hunt says they’re not and Tony Abbott says they are.”

She did not let the Government off the hook either, saying that Greens Senators are needed to “keep Labor on track”.

“We will never support reducing action on climate change and as long as we’re there in balance of power, we will be able to shame Labor into standing up and holding the line,” she said.

“Otherwise who knows where they would go on this either.”

Earlier, Labor figures including Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Environment Minister Mark Butler said the party would not give in to Mr Abbott’s push to repeal the carbon tax.

“Carbon pricing is fundamental to how you deal with climate change,” Mr Rudd said.

“Any alternative response to that is just intellectually dishonest.”

September 4, 2013 - Posted by | election 2013

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