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Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Australia. You've got six days to stop this nonsense

 Labor plants poison pills in carbon tax
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.
 2GB Media Player - Professor Henry Ergas on the carbon tax

If I was an Australian, I'd be very afraid. 

H/T to Jo Nova


  1. Easy, in Britain the mines, hospitals, railways were all private property, all you gotta do is nationalise the carbon certificates and then use them for the good of the nation as a whole.

  2. What's to stop any future Oz govt issuing so many permits that they become worthless and redundant?

  3. Can't be done in six days. We're just going to have to bite the bullet when it comes to paying to scrap the scheme, reminding everybody that it was the Labor dog being wagged by a Green tail that created the situation. Anonymous #1's suggestion is a good one but I think the Constitution says that fair compensation must be paid, which is the poison in the bill (IANAL so this is just my understanding). Anonymous #2's idea is a good one except that a quango is to be created which I believe will oversee value and numbers of permits, and that it will have a mandate to keep the squeeze on. If so then it'll need to be scrapped first and Aussie governments (of either kind) are no better at scrapping quangos than British ones.

    My feeling is that the best hope for those of us living in Oz is that the Liberals win, attempt to repeal it quickly (because of the 3 year term governments here have), get blocked twice in the Senate by the Greens and call a double dissolution of Parliament in order to get rid of the Greens and their hold on the balance of power in the Senate. Either that or that the scheme implodes under the weight of it's own costs and stupidity. Either way this is not going to come without a price, but if in the long run it destroys the credibility of Labor and the Greens it might actually be a price worth paying.


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