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SENATE SHOULD REJECT GREENS’ OFFSETS INQUIRY STUNT

The Greens’ proposed inquiry into environmental offsets is a waste of the Senate’s time, energy and resources. The offsets policy, established by the former Labor Government in 2012, was finalised after two years work involving the CSIRO, the broader environment movement and leading Australian universities.

Senate Should Support Carbon Tax Repeal

Four of Australia’s leading business groups are today calling on the Senate to swiftly repeal the carbon tax. Australia’s carbon tax is one of the highest in the world. It is making our key industries less competitive every day it stays in place. Most businesses have been unable to pass their carbon tax-related costs on to customers. For small business especially, this has been a major burden that has reduced profitability, suppressed employment and added to already difficult conditions. The negative economic impact of the carbon tax on energy prices and jobs is recognised by both major parties. That is why there was bipartisan support for the ‘termination’ of the carbon tax at the last election. Many cross-bench Senators were also elected on a platform of repealing the carbon tax. But timing makes all the difference. Acting now to repeal the carbon tax would boost business confidence and should be part of a broader national push to reduce high energy costs. Delaying repeal until the new Senate sits would not achieve anything for the environment. It would simply expose business to increasing and damaging uncertainty over the electricity prices they will be obliged to pay from 1 July 2014. We urge the Senate to repeal the carbon tax as soon as possible.

Greens and Lock the Gate must denounce dangerous protest activity

Australia’s resources industry is calling on The Greens and the Lock the Gate Alliance to denounce civil disobedience action at work sites across the country before someone is seriously injured. The APPEA and MCA recognise there is legitimate interest among landholders and communities on how resources are produced. Those issues are best addressed through open and transparent dialogue based on facts rather than through fear and threatening behaviour. In recent weeks we’ve witnessed protesters chain themselves to vehicles, dangle from machinery dressed as bats, lie in the path of vehicles and intimidate landholders who are happy to have exploration take place on their properties. In Bentley, in the Richmond Valley of northern NSW, there are reports today that anti-gas activists have installed steel spikes at the entrance to a dairy farmer’s property and on previous occasions have welded his entrance gate shut.
Yet the Greens continue to openly endorse civil disobedience classes as part of an untruthful campaign that claims to protect the rights of farmers. Apart from dangers to life and property, such campaigns prevent workers from getting to jobs that support their families and drain police resources from where they’re needed most. Instead of trying to demonise Australia’s resource industry the Greens have an opportunity today to show leadership, debate policy on fact, not emotion, and stop civil disobedience.

The Development of Northern Australia Inquiry

The minerals industry has a large and diverse presence across Northern Australia. It is the economic lifeblood of many centres, including remote communities, and has a vital role to play in sustaining Northern Australia’s further development. The industry therefore welcomes focused attention on policies needed to ensure Northern Australia reaches its full potential.

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