Does Labor want an ETS or not? Flip a coin – the answer you get will be about as reliable as asking Joolya, who also doesn’t want to admit to wanting a carbon tax or ETS. Labor are in disarray on climate, on the one hand having to appease the Greens, but on the other not wanting to let Abbott scare everybody with the “great big new tax on everything” line.
Let’s look back at what a certain Gillard, J said after the defeat of the ETS in the Senate back in late 2009:
”Today the climate change extremists and deniers in the Liberal Party have stopped this nation from taking decisive action on climate change,” the Deputy Prime Minister said, deadpan, into a thicket of cameras and recorders.
Extremists and deniers. In case anyone had missed the point, she repeated the phrase five times. ”Now [we] have been stopped by the Liberal Party extremists and the climate change deniers. This nation has been stopped from taking a major step in the nation’s interests by Liberal Party extremists and climate change deniers.”
So in her mind back then, clearly delay is denial. Then, having realised she had been outmanoeuvred by Tony Abbott after the defeat of the ETS, and the effectiveness of the Coalition’s “great big new tax” line, she came up with this pointless “citizen’s assembly” on climate, in other words an excuse for doing nothing whilst appearing to do something, which was hammered mercilessly from all sides.
But then came the shady, murky backroom deal for preferences with the Greens. When it didn’t look like Labor would need them, it was happy to continue along the no-ETS path, but now, with the polls split 50-50 and Labor desperate for Green preferences to stay in power, guess what she does: she raises again the possibility of a price on carbon in the next parliament. So transparent.
And now the messages are all over the place, and Labor is in chaos on climate:
Less than 24 hours before voters head to the polls, there is confusion around whether Labor wants to legislate for a carbon price next term.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard is sending mixed messages around whether she would try to pass an ETS next term, or wait until two elections away, after 2013.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott accused Labor of being “all over the place” on climate change.
Ms Gillard told a News Ltd newspaper she would not rule out legislating a carbon price next term.
But when pressed in other interviews, she declined to repeat the statement or clarify her timeline.
She told ABC Radio that Labor would consider the matter in late 2012 and would move to legislate at some stage if the conditions were right.
“Obviously that takes some time, as does the implementation date,” Ms Gillard said.
An interviewer on ABC Radio’s Triple J asked Ms Gillard if she would legislate next term; her response was “we will work to get a community consensus”.
Mr Abbott said: “Labor’s policy is all over the place … they’ve got to make up their minds what they want”.
He told reporters in Sydney that Labor was torn between subcontracting climate change to “some kind of nebulous citizens’ assembly”, and bringing in a carbon price which would force up electricity prices.
Coalition campaign spokesman Andrew Robb said Ms Gillard would use a Labor election victory as a mandate for a carbon tax. (source)
And I would have to agree with that. The Greens, if they hold the balance of power in the Senate, will blackmail Labor into legislating a price on carbon whether Joolya wants it or not.
Please, people of Australia, vote this incompetent bunch of no-hopers out of government tomorrow.