Gillard seeks to entrench carbon tax laws

Not sovereign?

There is a general principle in constitutional law that the “sovereignty” of Parliament ensures that a future parliament cannot be bound by its predecessor. In other words, if a parliament enacts a law, then a subsequent parliament should be entitled to repeal it. However, two articles in The Australian have demonstrated that the Gillard government is trying very hard to breach this principle, and entrench the carbon tax legislation in the statute book.

Firstly, Henry Ergas, writing yesterday commented:

IT was Mark Dreyfus QC, Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change, who let the cat out of the bag.

Once the carbon change legislation is in place, he said, repeal would amount to an acquisition of property by the commonwealth, as holders of emissions permits would be deprived of a valuable asset. As a result, the commonwealth would be liable, under s.51(xxxi) of the Australian Constitution, to pay compensation, potentially in the billions of dollars. A future government would therefore find repeal prohibitively costly.

That consequence is anything but unintended. The clean energy legislation, released this week, specifically provides that “a carbon unit (its generic term for a right to emit) is personal property”.

This, the government says, is needed to give certainty to long-term trades. But that claim makes little sense, for even without such protections there are flourishing markets for fishing quotas and other tradeable entitlements.

And internationally, governments have generally ensured pollution permits are not treated as conventional property rights, precisely so as to be able to revise environmental controls as circumstances change. Rather, this provision serves one purpose only: to guarantee any attempt at repeal triggers constitutional requirements to pay compensation, shackling future governments.

Nor is it the only poison pill built into the legislation. Also crucial is what happens if a new government rejects the emissions reductions recommendations made by the carbon regulator, the Climate Change Authority.

In that event, unless the government can secure a majority for an alternative target, permitted emissions are automatically cut by up to 10 per cent in a single year, crippling economic activity.

A Coalition government, or even a Labor government less wedded to the Greens, would therefore find itself trapped. (source)

And Paul Kelly, writing today, also considers the problem of repeal:

As incoming PM, Abbott would find himself having to check and reverse one of the deepest policy convictions in the senior ranks of the public service: that carbon pricing is far superior to his own direct action agenda.

Beyond that, he would need to replace an economy-wide scheme that priced carbon, treated emission permits as a property right, granted tax cuts and transfer payments as compensation and created an elaborate new structure of governance with a Clean Energy Regulator, a Climate Change Authority and a Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

Comparisons with Work Choices are false. Acting on its 2007 mandate, the Rudd government with Gillard as relevant minister replaced Howard’s laws with the Fair Work Act. But dismantling Labor’s clean energy structure is a far more formidable task. It penetrates to issues that will alarm business, face possible rejection in the Senate and could finish in the High Court. Gillard’s purpose is to entrench the new system and create a new status quo.

Labor’s scheme is one of the most elaborate in the world. The initial price of $23 a tonne from July 2012 will be fixed rising at 2.5 per cent per annum in real terms. From July 2015 it will transition to a flexible price estimated at $29 a tonne en route to an 80 per cent emissions reduction target by 2050. The coverage will be wide, reaching two-thirds of Australia’s emissions.

Upwards of 500 of the biggest polluters must pay for each tonne of carbon pollution they release. The flexible price means our scheme will be linked with other carbon markets. The heart of the policy is that companies can take action at home or purchase an international unit, thereby reducing carbon pollution abroad. This recognises that climate change is a global phenomenon and ensures domestic action occurs at the lowest cost.

The opposition is fixated on winning the political battle and how to unscramble the scheme in office. It has legal advice suggesting the issue may end in the High Court. The question is whether an Abbott government would be liable to compensation for removing property rights that were created only by this legislation. It is, unsurprisingly, a grey area.

“This is an attempt to sabotage the democratic process,” shadow finance minister Andrew Robb told The Australian yesterday. “We won’t be intimidated and we won’t be bullied. We will repeal this. If we have to return to the people at another election then we will.” (source)

It should come as little surprise that a government that has no mandate for the policy and treats the electorate with contempt takes such a cavalier attitude to constitutional norms of our democracy. This is a government hell bent on getting its way, and making sure that the Coalition are hamstrung if (when) they are elected in 2013 or sooner.



  2. Jeremy Hodes via Facebook says:

    Deeply, deeply worrying

  3. Linda Muller via Facebook says:

    That sounds illegal to me … can they do that?

  4. I see the last principle of legal freedom has fallen under the false flag of ‘carbon’. I hadn’t thought of the extended possibilities besides world tax/government but once this bastion has gone that’s the end of democracy.

  5. Linda, a government can basically do whatever they like barring a revolution. If there’s a constitution then you can challenge laws in the supreme court, something the UK would not be able to do should this spread as it doubtless will now the idea’s out here.

  6. Linda Muller via Facebook says:

    I’m scared!

  7. I think this is evil. Not only is she behaving like a dictator in a democracy, she is seeking to embed something people don’e want in a way it cannot easily be reversed.

  8. Louis Hissink says:

    The game in play isn’t climate mitigation but a far more subtle one most likely based on eliminating global poverty by changing the economic basis of civilization from a price based unhampered market system, to one based on allocation of energy units (carbon certificates), as initially described by advocates of the 1930’s Technocracy movement in the US. but updated to take advantage of technology such as electric smart meters etc.

    There is a progressive belief that money is the cause of all the problems so I suspect it’s that movement’s goal of moving away from a free market based system to one based on taxing emissions that is behind the ALP’s legislative program.

    By adopting an energy based trading system, which distinct use by dates, wealth accumulation is thought to be impossible, and hence humanity as a whole will prosper economically. Well, that’s what I think they believe in, and it’s more important to take notice of what they actually as to what they say.

    The problem is that Technocracy needs a totalitarian social system to work, and this is precisely what is slowly happening to us with the ever slowly ballooning government regulation and restrictions on our behaviour, usually rejected as “Nanny State” interventions.

  9. Linda Muller via Facebook says:

    David, the first paragraph in the link, says ‘that the “sovereignty” of Parliament ensures that a future parliament cannot be bound by its predecessor’. So, if Labor is attempting to pervert this principle, isn’t that unconstitutional and therefore, illegal? Can’t we fight the tax on this point? I am so politically illiterate. I just care about freedom of speech and the impact a carbon tax will have on the working classes. Unlike the rich, such as Tony Windsor, who I heard interviewed by the ordinary John Stanley on 2ue this morning, saying he has a clear conscience. A carbon tax isn’t going to impact those with oodles of disposable $$$, such as him!

  10. let me send out an invitation to all aussies to come to Canada, we got lucky in the last election and actually got a government that is working for the people and not their green friends!!!!!!!!

  11. Underhand deceitful and totally untrustworthy Labour…sorry…Socialist Government…..


    Interestingly the United States have indefinitely delayed CO2 regulations!

    As I wrote, ( )

    Yes, we will be the laughing stock of the world, seen jumping head first off a cliff into a shark infested sea, as we will have no way back, because we were sold a tax that has nothing to do with climate change, instead introduced purely for egotistic governance.

  13. How can they be allowed to get away with this? Everything they do is sneaky and underhand.

  14. I can’t help but wonder if this is the reason for the carbon tax??

    • Brian Venten says:

      Thanks Mark for that link. I watched the video (1hr37m)and was amazed at what I saw. Hard to comprehend what is beng done to us. I don’t know about you, but sometimes Ifeel powerless to do anything about the globalist agendas, and that’s why I love these blogs as they keep us and me informed. Many of these blogs I ‘like’
      /share’ to facebook as a means of getting the word out. Cheers

  15. Looks like we’ll have to rely on Andrew Wilkie pulling the plug in order for us to avoid the carbon tax.

  16. Well so much for Julia Gillard wearing out her shoe leather to sell the carbon dioxide tax to Australians. That little fiasco lasted 12 days until Labor learnt it was better to say nothing and just go ahead with it’s plans.

    Now with no mandate, a promise of no carbon tax, a record low primary vote, a record low approval rating for Ms. Gillard, 60% of Australians opposed to the ‘air’ tax, over 60% wanting an election now and the prospect of changing the Earth’s temperature by 0.0004 degrees, Labor will now enshrine this tax in legislation to make it that much harder to repeal.

    Just when did Australian become a totalitarian State and stop being a democracy?

  17. Fiona, because Labor are evil scammers. If their remaining 28% of supporters knew the truth, their support would drop to zero. So much for “government of the people, by the people, for the people” !

  18. It says this could even hamstring a future Labor govt. Which really goes to show she is bending to Bob “one world government” Brown’s wishes. So….who IS running this show?

  19. Charlotte Christenson via Facebook says:


  20. The Loaded Dog says:

    “This is a government hell bent on getting its way, and making sure that the Coalition are hamstrung if (when) they are elected in 2013 or sooner.”

    This is an accursed government of vindictive, dictatorial MONGRELS.

  21. Anybody else feeling powerless? This is all so absurd and there doesn’t seem to be anything that we can do about it! What democracy?

  22. Should just put Goldman Sachs in the constitution as our overlords on tax matters. After all that’s where it is all headed for the fascist corporate NWO. Like a thief in the night, time people woke up to these watermelons..

  23. Rita…This is why we Aussies have to change our lazy, apathetic “she’ll be right” attitude towards politics. If we are taking part in rallies and writing our concerns to our representatives then we should not be feeling powerless. We still have democracy, but we WILL lose it if we don’t use it.

  24. Detest this Dictator with a vengence…Its like she knows shes gone and shes going to drive the boots into everyone before she goes….Pathetic excuse for a PM

    • The Loaded Dog – I agree totally but there is no one in the party that will stand up and cross the floor either so it’s not only Juliar. I can’t believe they are all going to let this happen.

      There are skeptics in the Labor party that will let this go through and that’s the sad part noone with any principles or honour.

      Disgraceful 😦

      Say YES to an election now !!

  25. All Abbott needs to do is have a “repeal bill”, so to speak, rejected twice in 24 hours by the (hostile) Senate, and he can call a double dissolution.

    Yes, we’re going to have to have an election to have an election.

  26. If the act would breach constitutional law then the LNP should file a suit in the High Court claiming the act breaches the constitution and ask for a legal ruling.

    If the high court ruled against the act it would be another slap in the face for this disgusting government.

    What’s disappointing for me the most is I generally agree with most socialist concepts to the main extent, however this labor government has left a very sour taste in my mouth. I will never vote Labor again they have destroyed everything labor stands for and the Ministers need to be taken out and flogged severly for their blatant disrespect of the people that vote them in.

  27. The Labor government needs to be very careful what it wishes (legislates) for. If the rest of the world decides to abandon carbon [dioxide] taxation entirely (either because the “consensus” fails, or just because it’s a really bad idea anyway) whilst Labor is still in office, they won’t even be able to repeal it themselves without great cost.

    Imagine how much more foolish (if that is even possible) they would look to the rest of the world.

    Unfortunately, most politicians fall into the trap of unintended consequences.

  28. This is criminal and extremely detrimental for Australia and everyone resident here.

    I have already heard one caller to MTR suggesting that this kind of deception which will harm us all so much should be punishable by imprisonment.

    It is up to Tony Abbott to hit back hard and promise new legislation which will punish any lawmaker who introduces anything that is going to ruin this country in such a wide scale manner. He has to ann0unce that this is going to happen and that it will be retrospective.

  29. Despicable woman. How about some ideas about a quick submission on this shameful Bill whilst we have time?

  30. so it could still be repealed ? the loop hole she is resting her hopes on is the financial cost of ” compulsory aquisition ‘ payouts ?
    this is really turning in to one heck of a legal mess

  31. Seano from Western Sydney says:

    I think every man should be present at the birth of their child, but with this disgusting deform of a ‘reform’, Tony Abbott should rescind the idea of giving Craig Thompson a pair if he is to be absent for the birth of his child so that this detestable tax can be defeated. Hopefully one of the ALP members or Independents will do something stupid and criminal that gets them booted from Parliament before this can pass.

  32. Dave Coombes via Facebook says:

    Does anybody know who the top 500 polluters are…

    • Not polluters Dave, emitters.
      On the topic, the Govt wont name them especially the bottom 10%, as there will be a scramble to reduce emissions to not be penalised by being in the top 500 emitters, so there will always be queries as to who is actually on the “list”.

  33. Dave Coombes via Facebook says:

    “I am the the one to lead Australia into the future.” said Gillard….. Hitler said something similar about Germany….I think there’s a pattern forming……………..The good news is Hitler didn’t make it ….

    • It cost tens of millions lives and lot of carbon! Jooliah & Brown Bob want to drive Australia into their green socialist ground.

  34. Dave Coombes via Facebook says:

    Neither will this grubby Gillard

  35. @dave can we stop gillard before she does too much damage?

  36. The govt is tightrope walking with this. If the next election is a referendum on the carbon tax, and it is defeated, then this direction that the Govt has taken with this tax will then be in the public arena and the govt will be exposed even further as dishonest and working against the public wishes.
    All that will happen is that they will not be trusted again for a very long time, and rank & file union members should put pressure on their leaders to disassociate themselves from the Labour party.
    The Govt really cant see the forest for the trees. If it wasnt such a serious issue, it would make great comedy fodder.

  37. Deeply disturbing. I haven’t heard of this happening in any other democracy. Imagine if Howard had done this with WorkChoices?

  38. I was so peeved when I read Ergas’ opinion piece I sent an email to Tony Abbot’s office. I’ve never done anything like that before, I don’t know if it was the right thing to do, I don’t know if it’ll achieve anything, but I had to feel like I was doing SOMETHING. V scary.

  39. This evil is beautiful in its simplicity.

    “JuLIAR” Gillard went into government telling us she would not bring in a carbon tax. Now she is bringing it in AND ensuring it stays.

    I am not a violent man, nor do I control a wealth of arms, but I sincerely hope that those who do can do something about this. Because it seems that no amount of logic, reason or public desire is going to prevent this lunatic from r00ting our country.

  40. This is clasical communist way how to usurp power. First they sabotage any government which may follow. Ultimately, if they are themselves in power but it looks as if they will get kicked out, they first postpone elections on one or other lame excuse. Thereafter they abolish the elections altogether claiming that they are the only ones truly representing people. Be Afraid, Very Afraid of the New Green World Order planned by Comrades Bob & Jooliah!

  41. Julia “The Anointed”

    Why else do you think Ban Ki-Moon, the UN Secretary-General, visited our Prime Minister on the eve of her Carbon Tax
    He gave the game away in his interview with the ABC’s Chris Ullmann by referring to her determination to implement one step towards the UN “Agenda 21” – the true Global Governance blueprint.Bills?

    Julia Gillard does not believe in democracy. That is why she has no qualms lying to, and flouting the wishes of the people of Australia.
    She is not fit to be the Prime Minister of this wonderful country. Entrusted with our welfare, she is betraying Australia to the “Gods” of the financial Mt. Olympus, of whom she
    is “The Anointed”! dedicated to their
    “higher goals” as the self-proclaimed
    (but false) saviours of mankind and the planet!

    Julia Gillard is a Fabian Socialist who is dedicated to implementing the prescriptions of the Club of Rome. Unlike Woodrow Wilson who,
    on his deathbed, is credited with bemoaning the fact
    that he had “unwittingly betrayed his country by
    signing into law in 1913 the Federal Reserve Act”
    and its fractional reserve system, (which creates money
    “out of thin air”), thus delivering the
    fate of the United States to a private banking cartel,
    Julia Gillard is knowingly and deliberately betraying
    Read more here:

    But, if you want to know who is really behind the Club of Rome and the Climate Change scam, you should view this video:


  1. […] The criminal Oz government of Julia Gillard,who plans to pass a carbon tax against the will of the people, which Tony Blair call  a long suicide note,” has done even better. […]

  2. […] Her J-ness and her Circus of Ineptitude have since adopted a rather more entrenched position. This week, however, the legislation was introduced into Parliament. Quoting Henry Ergas, via Australian Climate Madness: […]

  3. […] roll back the labor/green carbon dioxide scheme. Simon at Australian Climate Madness explains this subversion of democracy. There is a general principle in constitutional law that the “sovereignty” of Parliament […]

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