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Unannounced Federal bill on CO2 register throws states plans into disarray, monitors half the current number of industries; NEMMCO position uncertain

Posted by gmarkets on 3 September, 2007

The Commonwealth was put on notice to manage greenhouse emissions, and responded with a bill totally misaligned with what the states had done so far, said Mr Gavin Jennings, Victorian Minister for Environment and Climate Change, in the Victorian Legislative Council on 22 August 2007. States and territories decided to establish benchmark: “A quite extraordinary proposition was put up after the Council for the Australian Federation got together earlier this year,” said Jennings. “The states and territories met and determined that if the commonwealth would not step into this space to regulate, they would do it themselves to make sure they knew what the greenhouse gas emissions system was throughout Australia. The states and territories determined that they would create the benchmark and the capacity to know where we as a nation are travelling with greenhouse generation and be able to drive important reforms, such as emissions trading. We put the commonwealth on notice to come up with a scheme to implement it.”

1400 industries measured in Victoria: “Out of the blue a bill arrived in the federal Parliament last week totally unannounced — and it is totally out of kilter with the current regulatory regime and out of kilter with the way the states and territories have planned to be able to measure reporting mechanisms now and into the future. … In relation to this initiative, the regime that we currently have in place in Victoria under the national pollutant inventory provides for 1400 energy-intensive industries to be measured through that regulatory impact including the state of Victoria.”

Commonwealth proposes monitoring fewer industries: “What has the commonwealth regime introduced? The bill that is before the commonwealth Parliament at the moment not only says, ‘Away with the inventory in Victoria, away with the 1400 companies that are currently being measured across Australia and let’s replace them with 700 companies which fall within the scope of the commonwealth regulation’,” said Jennings. “Not only that but it is particularly unclear in relation to the mechanisms that measure gas and electricity generation through the National Electricity Market Management Company (NEMMCO). Is it covered by the bill? The answer is a deafening silence from the commonwealth. We do not know whether it will measure these into the future.”

Reference: Gavin Jennings, Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Parliament of Victoria – Legislative Council Daily Hansard, Victoria, 22 August 2007.

Erisk Net, 26/8/2007

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