UPDATED: ETS parliamentary review "scrapped"

Precisely what planet are this Government on? Exactly one week after announcing a parliamentary review of the effectiveness of an ETS (see here), news reaches ACM that Treasurer Wayne Swann has told them “not to bother”.

[The] inquiry had become controversial today after comments by committee chairman Craig Thompson which threw the timetable of the ETS into confusion.

It appeared that the Government’s timetable for reporting later this year would prevent it getting its legislation through by July.

The committee has since clarified that by agreeing to issue an interim report.

But Treasurer Wayne Swan has asked the committee not to proceed.

He says the inquiry’s terms of reference had become politicised and distorted.

Entirely predictable. As I previously mentioned, Penny Wong’s comments during the past week demonstrate that the Government was not going to take any notice of the report anyway, so now it has taken the logical next step and said “Why bother with the report in the first place?”

This is truly unbelievable conduct by this morally bankrupt Government. They don’t even have the guts to subject their ETS to scrutiny for fear of it being exposed for the pointless political gesture that we all know it is.

Read it here.

UPDATE: The Liberals and the Greens are forming an unlikely alliance against all this government sleaze. Kevin Andrews, Liberal deputy chair of the enquiry, is hopping mad, saying the government is in disarray and running away from proper scrutiny (great minds etc…!):

“It deserves to have a proper airing in front of a parliamentary committee, and for the Government to be running away from it is quite extraordinary,” he said.

Mr Andrews says the move to cancel the inquiry could be unprecedented.

I’m not aware of it in my years in Parliament of this occuring, but there’s been a whole mystery around this inquiry in the first place,” he said.

Greens Senator Christine Milne says the Government is playing games over the issue.

“When you treat climate change as a political opportunity rather than an a serious issue this is the kind of mess that you get into,” she said.

Ms Milne says the Senate will hold an inquiry into the scheme instead.

Let’s hope they do.

Read it here.

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