The suggestion that the passage of the so-called Clean Energy bills is a major political victory for Julia Gillard is wrong. It is a victory for the Greens and independent MP’s Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott.
The Prime Minister promised before the last election that there would be no carbon tax under a government she led.
She changed her mind because it was a condition of support from the Greens and the independents. The Prime Minister has effectively, repeatedly, conceded that.
The result is that we now have a carbon tax, morphing into a carbon trading regime in 2015 that is a Tyrannosaurus Rex, disguised as a Panda. The Greens and the independents have driven this transformation.
In 2008 Tony Windsor sought to legislate an 80% reduction in emissions by 2050. That is now the Government’s target. The Bills do not even mention the superseded 5% target.
The trajectory of caps under the scheme will therefore have to be much steeper than under the old target - which is now no more than a default position.
The price of carbon will be precisely the $23 nominated by the Greens in January 2010, and will rise by several per cent a year, as suggested by the Greens at the same time.
Caps will be recommended by a Climate Change Authority, as sought by the Greens and the Member for Lyne, who will no doubt be deeply disappointed by the fact that parliament retains a role. He fought for it to be totally sidelined.
There will be a $10 billion slush fund for rent seeking green power entrepreneurs, as demanded by the Greens.
It is obvious that the so- called multi-party Climate Change Committee was simply cover for the government’s concessions to the extreme positions of the Greens and Mr Windsor.
The passage of the Clean Energy Bills is in no way a victory for Julia Gillard.
It is a pyrrhic victory for Bob Brown, Christine Milne, Tony Windsor, and Rob Oakeshott.
Ron Boswell is a Senator from Queensland, and the Father of the Senate.