Emissions Trading Scheme
“Democracy is dead,” they cried, wielding blow-up baseball bats. “Today is… the worst day of the rest of our lives”. Radio rager Alan Jones blustered: “The notion of global warming is a hoax… this is witchcraft.”
“Extreme wingnut and proud of it,” boasted one man.
Well, at least one of the weekend carbon tax protesters was telling the truth.
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Each of us has childhood memories of exploring and enjoying the unique Australian environment. From the beach to the backyard, surely it is the great outdoors that unites us all.
It may have been beach fishing on a windswept, majestic Moreton Island as a teen, as I experienced, or something as simple as family time spent in the backyard of the ramshackle beach house that so many of us seemed to have. Either way, all Australians have an abiding love of these special youthful memories of the natural world. We must fight to preserve these experiences. Not so much for ourselves, but for the youngest among us and those yet to be born, who are still to have their special moments outdoors in Australia.
As the threat of climate change grows greater and more imminent, we need to remember what it is we are acting to protect for future generations.
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So the “cash for you” has been received and spent on petrol, paying off the credit cards or the latest electricity bill, and now the nation stands on the threshold of the introduction of Labor’s carbon tax.
I guess there are worse places to be – like actually employed by one of the organisations that sit around the threshold of eligibility to pay the carbon tax.
Those nebulous, arbitrary “big polluters”. These “perpetrators” could be the Council that collects your rubbish, or the University you hope your kids will attend one day, or the manufacturer who made the disposable nappies your little one wears. Or even the abattoir that provides the meat you buy from your local supermarket.
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Special Minister of State Gary Gray will be in Whyalla on Sunday to see his mum and to double-check her home hasn’t disappeared into the dust of an economic wasteland. He also wants to be assured she isn’t lonely in a ghost town.
Mr Gray, based in Perth, really does want to visit his mother - but the timing isn’t entirely coincidental.
Sunday is July 1, the start of the Government’s carbon pricing scheme, and the day Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said would see the devastation of a string of industrial towns.
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We’re entering a new phase of the carbon pricing ‘debate’ this week, because it’s now too late for anyone to do much about it, despite Opposition Leader Tony Abbott promising there will be no carbon tax under a Government which he leads.
The Gillard Government has pinned its hopes on the electorate absorbing the costs of the tax – and the compensation for the tax – and realising that things, relatively speaking, are not going to tip over into some fetid abyss of poverty from which there is no return.
What they’re overlooking in their optimism, though, is how deep the distrust of the Government now runs, and how firmly embedded the notion of the Prime Minister as a liar is.
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And you can be sure the shouting’s not over yet. Before the carbon tax begins on July 1, 2012, we may even see blood shed if Opposition Leader Tony Abbott goes through with his pledge. But the tax now just has to be rubber stamped by the Senate.
There were some histrionics on the floor of Parliament with the Liberal’s Sophie Mirabella being thrown out (we wonder which way she was planning to vote?) and THAT so-called “Judas kiss”.
The very vocal opposition to the carbon price will not settle into acquiescent bitterness, so this won’t be the last you hear of it. For now, here’s what was said on the inarguably historic day in Australian Parliament.