Australia’s carbon tax Mark II

I have an article this morning in Quadrant-on-line addressing the latest developments involving  The National Energy Guarantee (NEG) Australia’s new carbon tax.  This is to operate by requiring electricity retailers to ensure their supplies conform to a progressively declining level of greenhouse gas emissions.  And, as each generator has a unique carbon footprint, there will be a diversity of prices.

We are, therefore reintroducing a price on carbon, the carbon tax, enclosed in a vanilla wrapper, disarmingly advertised as “technology neutral”.

Not only do we have a carbon tax but its implementation adds a new complexity to the electricity market.

As renewables are more costly than coal and gas the average price to households and businesses will increase.

It is easy to see why this economy-wrecking policy has been put into place.  The original carbon tax was introduced by Julia Gillard and devised by the then Secretary of the Climate Change Department, Martin Parkinson.  Malcolm Turnbull, as leader of the Opposition, supported that policy and, after refusing to reconsider, was defeated on the issue by Tony Abbott.  Under Gillard, Parkinson was promoted to the Secretary of Treasury.

On becoming Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, in line with his commitment, repealed the carbon tax.  After a decent interval he also fired Martin Parkinson.

On becoming PM, Turnbull appointed Parkinson to head up his own Department, from which position he has immense influence to dictate energy and climate policy.  Moreover as head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Parkinson is able to play a key role in selecting appointments in the bureaucracy proper and in the quangos that administer and advise on energy policy.

This has placed irresistible pressure on the Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg who has to sell the policy and seek out ways he can neutralize some of its features.

My Quadrant piece is here .  There is also some press reporting of the issue in The Australian, which addresses an analysis of the admirable Craig Kelly.  And Tony Abbott has correctly recognised the policy as a “carbon tax in disguise”.

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28 Responses to Australia’s carbon tax Mark II

  1. Dr Fred Lenin

    Why in the name of God do these stupid grasping career political animals need to be involved in electricity? There is no earthly reason ,unless it is to stop foreigners from taking it over they should keep their meddling noses out of business they were never any good at business that’s why the fools are career politicians it’s the only job they can get . The market soon sorts the wheat from the chaff ,no subsidies sorts out the carpetbaggers . We need a clean sweep of the political traitors, a thorough cleansing ,name me a handful of usefull polliemuppets ,pretty thin on the grsound aren’t they.

  2. Baldrick

    Can we just put a fork in the Stupid.Fucking.Liberals.
    They’re done.

  3. H B Bear

    Parkinson is poison. Useless Sloppy Joe should have sacked him the Monday after the election.

  4. It doesn’t matter how much it hurts, I think Labor needs to become the next government. We just can’t keep feeding trolls like Turnbull.

  5. The theme song to M*A*S*H was ‘Suicide is Painless’. What’s the theme song to this government?

  6. jupes

    Parkinson is the fuckwit who the Outsiders regularly lampoon for idiocies such as “unconscious bias”.

    How do drooling imbeciles like him get into such powerful positions?

  7. JohnL

    Parkinson – blood sucking, oxygen waisting leech.
    Frydenberg – another well-educated idiot! He is in good company with Malcolm etc. That’s why Australia is fucked.
    Why is society spending money on educating these fuckwits? The country needs tradesmen. With they built Frydy and Malcolm could have been good bricklayers. Even if they have been bad bricklayers they could have done as much damage to the country as in their current position.

  8. JohnL

    From Ray Hadley show:
    The CEO of the biggest aluminum smelter in Australia (I forgot the name) said that the biggest power battery in the world, in South Australia, would run his plant for 8 minutes. 8 minutes!!!!!!!!!
    Are we fucking idiots or what!?!?

  9. Iampeter

    Abbott didn’t merely repeal the carbon tax he replaced it with Direct Action which really is a carbon tax in disguise.
    He also supported the Howard government in their time who built the environmentalist bureaucracy in this country.

    Sorry but none of these issue can be put at the feet of Labor or even Turnbull, this mess is the product of the “World’s Greatest Living Conservative” and Abbott and that’s where all the blame belongs.

  10. John Constantine

    Their Brave Gillard-government-in-exile.

    [when we get in, we will change Nothing]

  11. manalive

    It doesn’t matter how much it hurts, I think Labor needs to become the next government. We just can’t keep feeding trolls like Turnbull …

    I strongly agree with that and James Allan.
    “Treaties have been signed, commitments made … whether people like it or not, we are moving towards a carbon constrained future …” (Josh Frydenberg).
    For the sake of our democracy that sort of bastardly from a government must not be rewarded.

  12. egg_

    The National Energy Guarantee would imply an Essential Service, presumably, as other Essential Services such as Telcos and Emergency Contact Centres rely upon same, as they don’t have indefinite backup power supplies, all things grind to a halt, eventually, without power.

  13. egg_

    We just can’t keep feeding trolls like Turnbull …

    Voters will likely attend polling booths with “baseball bats” at the ready.

  14. Mak Siccar

    Alan, can you please get this article into a wider circulation outlet, say, The Australian ASAP. The public needs to know about these lies and subterfuge and, unfortunately, very few of them read Quadrant or the Cat.

  15. struth

    Sorry but none of these issue can be put at the feet of Labor or even Turnbull, this mess is the product of the “World’s Greatest Living Conservative” and Abbott and that’s where all the blame belongs.

    You bloody half wit.
    Just because somebody calls themselves a conservative, doesn’t make them one.
    You call yourself right wing when in fact you’re a no borders anarchist.

  16. Habib

    The liberal and national parties are our enemy. Labor is vexatious, but largely irrelevant, they spend more time in opposition than government. It’s the incumbent bastards who are royally rogering us, and have done so pretty much since their inception, they’ve progressively veered more to the left as time passes. Their blatant misrepresentation and false pretences should see them banged up under the CC Act with multiple priapic perverts till next century.

  17. dauf

    I have sadly resigned to the fact/judgement that James Allen is correct. Better 3-6 years of really bad socialist government than the continuing/indefinite and increasingly (95%) bad socialist-type government that just pushes the left even further left, and an even bigger disaster when it really does come.

    Malcom the unmitigated disaster and his horde of absolutely spineless sheep.

    Better to blow the whole lot up and look for some sense, eventually…someone?

  18. struth

    Better to blow the whole lot up and look for some sense, eventually…someone?

    FMD.
    People just don’t wake up one day and say nope, we don’t like this socialism anymore, let’s do away with it.
    Socialism will do away with you.
    100 million dead should let you know how it pans out.

  19. People just don’t wake up one day and say nope, we don’t like this socialism anymore, let’s do away with it.

    Given that Australia has swung from Labor to Liberal and back again virtually since inception and communist style Socialism has never happened, I doubt that we’ll go that far.

    But given a full term of an ‘elected’ Turnbull government and we may well wish we did.

  20. struth

    Given that our country has swung from Labor to Liberal and back again virtually since inception and communist style Socialism has never happened, I doubt that we’ll go that far.

    Said most Venezuelans.

  21. Said most Venezuelans.

    When was the last time the military was used to subdue the masses in Australia? 1854 I vaguely remember.

  22. davo

    The CEO of the biggest aluminum smelter in Australia (I forgot the name) said that the biggest power battery in the world, in South Australia, would run his plant for 8 minutes. 8 minutes!!!!!!!!!
    Are we fucking idiots or what!?!?

    Collectively and unfortunately, i think you know the answer to that

  23. NB

    Fantastic. They are from the government, and they have noticed the electricity market is dysfunctional right now (largely because of government regulation), so they have decided to help.
    Not only is it great for us, the people, it is great for the ambition of the liberal party to lose the next election as convincingly as possible.

  24. GL

    Alan Moran. “We are, therefore reintroducing a price on carbon, the carbon tax, enclosed in a vanilla wrapper, disarmingly advertised as “technology neutral”.

    Alan, you’ve completely lost me. What a disappointment from someone I thought had at least a bit of nous. Not so it seems.

    Whilst electricity makes up nearly 35% of greenhouse gas emissions in the Australian economy, and is the biggest single contributor, non electricity stationary energy @18%; transport @ 19% & fugitive emissions @10%, collectively make up 47%. I suspect, on condition the Coalition maintains government post 2019, post 2020 when the RRET has expired, the key efforts will be made in these sectors in bringing emissions down.

    Nevertheless, following the renewable investment surge through 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020 (all virtually determined in 2015 when the RET target for 2020 was amended) there is, in my opinion, the prospect of significant investment in non peaking gas electricity generation replacing old coal fired generation, driving emissions down. Low emission coal replacing old high emission coal is also a possibility.

    I’m dubious about wind without subsidies. Solar; depends on the technology available.

  25. struth

    They should put a windmill on the top of parliament house.

    It would power half the east coast, but only spasticmodically.

  26. Peter Lang

    Thanks for this excellent article Alan. It should be named the TCT or TETS (Turnbull Carbon Tax or Turnbull Emissions Trading Scheme).

    I hope it gets blocked in the Senate.

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