A convoy of trucks is due to arrive in Canberra over the next few days, and to choke traffic on major roads like Northbourne Avenue. Everyone has the right to peaceful protest, but it’s pretty clear that Tony Abbott’s mobile scare campaign over recent months has whipped up plenty of fear. Greg Combet has been running a series of releases titled ‘Abbott absurdities on climate change’, which include:
Claim: “Pensioners who can’t afford to turn on their heater or in summer their air-conditioner are going to be very, very badly impacted by the carbon tax.” (Tony Abbott, Super Radio Network, 27 July 2011).
Fact: The Government will provide pensioners with assistance that at least offsets their average price impacts from a carbon price. Pensioners will receive the equivalent of a 1.7 per cent increase in the maximum rate of the pension: an extra $338 a year for singles and $255 a year for each member of a couple.
Claim: “There will be 45,000 jobs lost in energy-intensive industries. There will be 126,000 jobs lost mainly in regional Australia.” (Tony Abbott, Hansard, 21 June 2011).
Fact: Modelling by Treasury and other sources has consistently shown the economy will continue to grow strongly under a carbon price, with new jobs being created in low pollution sectors more than high pollution sectors.
Claim: “A carbon tax ultimately means death to the coal industry.” (Tony Abbott, 9 June 2011, Peabody Energy’s Metropolitan Mine, Helensburgh, NSW).
Fact: Treasury modelling of the CPRS showed the Australian coal mining industry’s output would grow by 66 per cent from 2008 to 2050 with a carbon price.
Claim: “One of the things that people haven’t quite twigged to is that carbon dioxide is invisible, it’s weightless and it’s odourless, how are we going to police these emissions?” (Tony Abbott, 2SM, 7 July 2011)
Fact: Australian corporations have been reporting their emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases since July 2008 under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007. When Mr Abbott’s colleague Malcolm Turnbull introduced this legislation to Parliament he said: “The bill I am introducing today lays the foundation for Australia’s emissions trading scheme. Robust data reported under this bill will form the basis of emissions liabilities under emissions trading …”
Claim: “Look, there are many economists who prefer our plan to the Government’s plan.” (Tony Abbott, Doorstop Interview, 6 July 2011).
Fact: Mr Abbott was asked which economists prefer his Direct Action policy to a market mechanism like a carbon price. He was unable to name one.
So if Canberrans find themselves stuck in traffic on Monday morning, they should think of Tony Abbott’s fear-mongering. After months of misleading statements from the Liberal Party, we shouldn’t be surprised when people mistakenly think that pricing carbon will hurt Australia.
For anyone looking for the facts on climate change, and why putting a price on carbon pollution is the most efficient solution, it’s worth checking out the Clean Energy Future website.