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61 responses to “Never mind the pork…”

  1. _RAAF_Stupot
  2. David Irving (no relation)

    I don’t think an Abbott govt would be able to unpick it, Robert, particularly as he would have a hostile senate. I reckon there’ll be a lot of pressure on him from the business community to STFU once the sky fails to fall in.

  3. Zorronsky

    Never mind the pork..roll out the barrel..sorry couldn’t resist, but I like it.

  4. Russell

    I’m still doubtful of how much benefit this arrangement will be for reducing carbon, but I’m pleased at the tax changes. A fairer tax/welfare scheme seems to be the immediate winner for the ALP – if they can sell it.

  5. Casablanca

    Am I the only one who switched to the ABC to watch the PM’s address only to find that the information on the ABC Website was incorrect?

    The Program Guide listed the address for 6.31pm. By tuning in earlier than I thought necessary I caught about the last 4 mins of the PM’s speech and then found myself watching Tony Abbott. How did this slip-up occur?

  6. Russell

    I hadn’t plan to listen at all and was lying comfortably in front of the heater listening to Aung San Suu Kyi giving the Reith lecture on News Radio when we were rudely interrupted by Julia Gillard. What a difference in voices! Poor old Julia – so contrived and false sounding.

    I keep feeling better and better about the tax changes ….. if only the ALP can get the message across – that this is an ALP policy response (well, and thanks to the Greens too, but perhaps they shouldn’t muddy the message with that)

  7. jumpnmcar

    Can anyone foresee any amendments proposed by the greens?

  8. Chookie Inthebackyard

    On a quick look I have not yet seen a list of the ~500 companies which will be in the scheme (ie, producing 25,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent p.a.). I would be even more interested to see the list of companies which were in the 500-1000 group initially slated for the permits.

  9. The Lorax

    Dumb question: If I’m on 100% GreenPower will my electricity bill increase?

  10. Russell

    Lorax – as people are ‘encouraged’ to add solar panels to their houses, expensive upgrades will be needed to the system to cope …. the price of being part of the grid will go up and up and up

  11. Chris

    Lorax – You’ll probably get to pay both the carbon tax and the green power premium 😉 Of course the danger is that with the introduction of the carbon tax people will be tempted to drop green power subscriptions as they’ll feel they’ve already paid.

  12. Occam's Blunt Razor

    Prediction – Australia will produce more CO2 in 2020 than now. As for the 2050 target – ha ha ha.

    There will be no international agreement that is environmentally, economically and politically effective.

  13. Huggybunny

    If the truck owners had even the smallest amount of brain they would immediatly source as much of their fuel from bio -diesel as they possibly can. Since various types of bio- diesel have been around for yonks it should not take long to ramp up production.
    Whats the bet that they simply sit on the side of the road and throw tanties?

  14. Steve

    I’m hoping that the carbon tax might revive Green Power as a marketing tool for energy retailers – it is a competitive market after all, and if one retailer ups their Green Power pricing with the carbon tax, everyone can switch to another retailer – surely there will be some (at least one!?) retailers who opt to use Green Power to pick up new customers by keeping prices low.

  15. Mercurius

    @15 very good OBR. Now that you’ve nailed your colours to the mast with a bald prediction for 2020, will you be a good sport and concede that no further utterance is needed from you on this subject for at least the next 9 years? You can come back and say ‘I told you so’ in 2020.


  16. Fine

    So far the Libs response has been incredibly weak; “Bad tax! Bad tax!”.

    The issue is that this will pass both Houses and even if the Libs control the Senate after the next election, I suspect it would be terribly difficult to roll back.

  17. BilB

    RobertM @18,

    Exactly the case.

    I think that you need a much much bigger megaphone with which to broadcast that good sense.

  18. wilful

    In terms of policy, I think this is a pretty good one. I’m not going to argue about letting the perfect get in the way of the good – this is better than Rudd’s CPRS. Is it politically astute? Well given Australian political debate at the moment, that’s a hard one to answer. Works for me.

  19. Paul Burns

    I do hope the pork isn’t temporary. It ain’t the pork that worries me. Its the Australian public confusing the carbon price increases with the regular electricity price increases that have nothing to do with the carbon price. The renewables stuff is potentially magnificent.
    There is a problem, of course, and its Gillard. She was so soporific on ABCTV/RN this morning I turned the TV off. Seriously. Will people listen or has she done her dash in terms of credibility?

  20. Duncan


    Indeed.. why waste all that arable land on food crops.. silly idea!

  21. Sam

    It’s certainly a triumph for Gillard that she could get agreement from the the motley collection of Greens and independents.

    Ken Parish puts it well:

    “And, for schadenfreude afficionadoes, that treacherous prick Rudd will know in his guts that a bloke with his personality and skillset could never have pulled it off in a million years. And so will the rest of the Labor Caucus who’ve had to deal with his prima donna antics on a daily basis.”

  22. Debbieanne

    I am glad that something is at last being done. My concern is whether it will make a difference. I am really worried that it is far too late and the same persons that are complaining like crazy about the costs (finacial) will still be complaining when the predictions start coming true (as if they aren’t already). And of course they will blame the govt, which in part is fair enough, but gee whiz.
    Why is it that the majority expect to have it both ways. Fix the problem now (whatever it is, healthcare, education, climate change), but don’t make me pay for it.

  23. patrickg

    There is a problem, of course, and its Gillard. She was so soporific

    I know, right? That weird sing-song slow motion voice she puts on to the public comes across as _so_ fake and condescending. Just talk like a normal person, for god’s sake!

    As for Ken Parish, if those “genuises” in the Labor party had never knifed Rudd in the first place, this complicated ballet would have been totally redundant. Talk about Pyrrhic victory.

  24. BilB

    Qantas have just announced the cost of the Carbon Price to their bottom line to be $150 million. So taken as factor against their gross revenue of $7.9 billion for this Carbon Intensive Industry, this amounts to a percentage cost of 1.9%.

    So your $1000 airfare to Vanuatu will cost you $20 more approximately.

  25. Bellistner

    diesel used for rail transport is covered by the carbon tax, while diesel used in trucks and buses is not!

    Eh? I thought the Desil Rebate was ‘on hold’ til 2014?

    Keeping Petrol out of the Scheme, at least for the time being, was a triumph of policy over practicality. Petrol is ‘only’ ~16% of our emissions, but increasing the price (or, rather, appearing to increase the price) is an electoral no-no.

  26. Brian

    Gillard’s manner never bothers me. But then I never thought Kim Beazley was prolix either.

    You wouldn’t believe the misinformation and smart-arsed hysteria on the local ABC radio this morning. Democracy is not in good shape.

    Abbott’s best chance of changing this is in a double dissolution, whereby he could also change the NBN and bring in all his other evil schemes.

    The best comment so far is from Tony Windsor:

    This is the classic long term play. The beneficiaries of this sort of policy, most haven’t been born yet, and that is the test of the political process here and I congratulate the Prime Minister for taking the risk. Taking a risk like this in a hung Parliament is a stupid thing to do politically but it is a great thing to do if you are actually concerned about the future of Australian communities.

    Tony Abbott is the short term opportunist who really couldn’t care less about the future of the globe. He wants to be prime minister. Good luck to him but I know which horse I’d rather be riding in terms of being remembered at some stage in the future.

  27. BilB

    The ABC commissioned tha Gratten Institute to cost the impact on some food items. The average was 1% or less. Totally consistent with the announced 0.7% CPI lift.

  28. Sam

    Windsor is good on just about everything. Makes me wonder how he spent so much time in the National Party.

  29. myriad74

    Lorax @ 15 – re: green power

    No, electricity retailers should not be increasing the price of green power in direct response to the carbon price -and the ACCC will be given additional extra powers to scrutinise potential rorting (ie passing on imaginery costs and using the pretext of the carbon price).

    Robert’s comments on how green power will contribute to voluntary action are also broadly correct. For more detail:

    Pollution cap setting:
    The Government will take voluntary action into account when setting pollution caps.

    Voluntary action will be treated as additional when accounting for Australia’s post‑2012 targets.

    Any purchases of accredited GreenPower from the date that the carbon pricing mechanism commences will be accounted for as voluntary action.

    In the fixed price period, the Government will measure GreenPower purchases on an annual basis and take these into account when setting the initial pollution caps. As pollution caps are to be set by 31 May 2014, only those GreenPower purchases measured at the time of making regulations will be counted in the initial caps, that is, GreenPower purchases for 2012‑13. The remaining GreenPower purchases during the fixed price phase will be accounted for in later caps.

    In the flexible price period, the Government will measure GreenPower purchases on an annual basis and directly take these into account in setting the pollution caps five years into the future.

    Adjustments to the pollution cap for GreenPower will be backed by a commitment not to count those emission reductions towards meeting the national emissions reduction target.

    Additional voluntary action
    Voluntary action in addition to GreenPower and voluntary cancellation of units could also be recognised, on advice from the Climate Change Authority on whether a robust methodology can be developed to recognise additional voluntary action by households.

    However I think what I think is not clear (at least to me) is if green power will increase of cost due to market demand, ie your retailer can get more for it as companies look to buy it to offset their carbon price liabilities.

  30. myriad74

    Sorry Lorax, clearly I meant your comment @11.

  31. The Lorax

    No problem, thanks for all the answers.

  32. Chris

    myriad @ 74 – I think the way that GreenPower is sold will lead to overall price increases though. For example, they tend to be sold either so the user buys a certain amount of kWh per quarter of green power or pays for a percentage of their actual power usage to be sourced from green power sources. However, this calculation is done separately from the ordinary power cost calculation.

    So people on GreenPower schemes will pay more for the base power cost (because of the carbon tax) and then the GreenPower which may not go down (may even go up with extra demand) will still be added on top of that. This will happen unless the electricity restructure how they sell green power to consumers to take into account the carbon tax already paid by the consumer when selling green power.

    As I mentioned it before it will be interesting to see if residential purchasing of GreenPower drops in response to the introduction of the carbon tax because people will believe they’ve already paid for their electricity generation pollution.

  33. Kevin Rennie

    My quick roundup of initial online reactions for Global Voices: Australia Unveils Carbon Pricing Package

    This tweet from @dannolan stands out!

    ‘You can’t spell ‘carbon tax’ without SOCIALIST EUGENICS-LADEN MALTHUSIAN DEATH-PACT #cp’

  34. sg

    I got called stupid for asking about price increases due to this tax. Apparently I didn’t understand economics and should look up “competition” on wikipedia. So are the economic geniuses who told me that (lookin’ at you, DD) going to explain to me why Gillard is compensating people for price increases? Or maybe she doesn’t understand her own policy…?

  35. Fran Barlow

    Kevin Rennie:

    This also from @dannolan:

    A Carbon Tax? You know what else is made of carbon? Life. So a tax on life from a deliberately barren atheist? Interesting

  36. Jacques de Molay is moving forward

    Set those alarm clocks late in this case as Julia Gillard will be the sole guest on Q&A tonight. Personally I won’t be watching can’t handle even a five minute interview with her.

  37. Jacques de Molay

    Also she will be guest hosting The 7pm Project on Tuesday night. Bob Katter guest hosts the show tonight, Tony Abbott on Wednesday night, Friday night will be hosted by Adam Bandt and Thursday night hasn’t been confirmed yet.


  38. Myriad74

    Chris, I said it wasn’t clear to me, not everyone.

    Ie it may well have been modeled but I haven’t seen it.

    Also don’t forget that local govts are actively looking to reduce their emissions and they buy into green power. I spoke to a council today that aims for carbon neutrality in a few years. They will continue to green power & are significant consumers whose combined purchase in 2012-13 could retire some permits. We have had letters from many councils strongly supporting voluntary action to retire permits as their contribution.

  39. Fine

    Gillard was excellent tonight. Clear, concise and articulate.

  40. paul of albury

    [email protected], I think the issue there is that competitive opportunities are only good for the competitive. The business lobby groups represent the established, those businesses that may be under threat from competitors. Businesses that are able to grasp new opportunities are probably not the ones lobbying for no change. It appears many of our business leaders are more rentiers than entrepreneurs, their culture of entitlement demanding we patronise them on their terms.

  41. Brian

    @ 46, indeed she was, Fine. Pretty much word perfect. And a continual stream of positive Twitter feeds.

    BilB @ 29, Qantas said they will have to put up domestic prices by all of $3.50 each.

  42. BilB


    That Qantas price change suggests that Qantas will absorb some of the cost initially and smooth the transition. There is also no need for there to be a price change until july next year.

    What I am expecting is that there will be very little price change at all. For example Woolworths and Kmart (not food stores) should not be changing prices at all as the imported content (completely unaffected by the Carbon Price except for distribution costs) of their product is likely to be near 90% so these stores which have been profiting out of sight from the strong Australian dollar.

  43. wbb

    I never thought Beazley was prolix either Brian! But once a mneme is in the ether about a personality it’s darn near impossible to expunge.

    Gillard displayed the patience of Job tonight answering some of those questions. One person complained that the government’s communication on the issue was too complex for the public to follow. They didn’t think Gillard should even use the word “carbon” as it is too scientific. So I have no issue with Gillard trying to speak slowly and clearly. Just wait – she may soon have to resort to drawing pictures in crayon.

  44. BilB

    By the way I heard a glued on (Alien style) Coalition supporter being interviewed on the ABC being interviewed as a “sample” ordinary person, who said that as a panel beater his costs would be unbearably higher. He did not appear to hear me yelling at him (the tyranny of distance) that most of his parts are imported, only his paints, thinners and electricity would go up in price. Even his labour (fully compensated) would not change in cost.

  45. wbb

    “Teck Resources Ltd., the Vancouver-based miner, is expanding its coal operations in the province and the tax isn’t dissuading those plans. Still, it competes with Australian coal miners, selling coal to steel makers in Japan and China. Australia doesn’t have a carbon tax but politicians there are debating an introduction.”

    British Columbia in Canada has had a carbon tax for three years.

  46. myriad74

    Robert, have a closer look at what I excerpted from the appendices:

    In the fixed price period, the Government will measure GreenPower purchases on an annual basis and take these into account when setting the initial pollution caps. As pollution caps are to be set by 31 May 2014, only those GreenPower purchases measured at the time of making regulations will be counted in the initial caps, that is, GreenPower purchases for 2012‑13.

    So my reading of that is that significant green power purchases by entities like local governments in 2012-13 will have the effect of reducing permits as part of the initial cap. (The council I talked to – Yarra City Council- is intending to be carbon neutral in 2012 out of interest).

    Therefore significant voluntary action in 2012-13 I think can reasonably be expected to influence what the Climate Change Authority recommends to parliament as the cap.

  47. myriad74

    Sorry, blockquoting for my second para failed.

  48. patrickg

    Gillard displayed the patience of Job tonight answering some of those questions.

    Agreed, the questions were mind-numbingly stupid for the most part. Not even constructive negativism. I loved the clearly middle class fellow who spoke of his worries about “being taxed into poverty because I’m not on welfare”.

    a) I fail to see how $3-$4 a year could possibly tax you into poverty. I wonder if he understands one interest rate rise will eclipse what he pays in carbon tax in a whole year, in a single month?

    b) I love how he completely ignores that if you are genuinely working class or in poverty, this scheme actually gives you more money.

    Gah. Most of the questions were that idiotic. When that girl at the start was saying “You’re not being patronising enough!”, I was like, yeah right. By the end, I was questioning my previous confidence that the Australian public had applied a collective IQ somewhere about 50 to this issue.

    Gillard is always way better off-script than on, I think. I thought she was way stronger in QandA than in the address.

  49. Fine

    She’s terrible when she’s making speeches and much better when she’s talking to people, which indicates why she’s managed her way through the negotiations so far.

    But, some of those questions. OMG!

  50. David Irving (no relation)

    Just remember, folks, half the population has double digit IQs. That’s a lot of the reason why I no longer bother watching Q’nA, and it’s something I have to remind myself of daily at work …

  51. adrian

    Gillard was great, the audience was pathetic, and Tony Jones was Tony Jones – glib, attention seeking, antagonistic.

  52. Dave McRae

    I also thought the PM was very impressive on QandA last night.

    And I was also blown away by the inane questions – taxing me into poverty because I’m not poor enough to get compo line – oh my.

    The lad at the end was spot, WTF is Abbott getting away with this – “socialism” ? Or Hockey’s sovereign risk line. Why isn’t everyone laughing at them?

  53. Dave McRae

    spot=spot on