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Labor offers Greenhouse and Energy Bill qualified support; attacks lack of submission time and Federal Govt fixation on “ramming through” Bills

Posted by gmarkets on 8 October, 2007

Labor believed emissions and energy data should be disclosed at the facility level, said South Australia’s Senator Dana Wortley in the Commonwealth Senate on 20 September 2007. Access to information for state governments: Contrary to Labor’s stance, “it would seem the provisions of this [National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Bill 2007] … support disguise over disclosure,” Wortley said. “Labor believes that state access to information must be guaranteed, not subject to the discretion of the Greenhouse and Energy Data Officer – as it would have been under the original Bill. This issue is particularly relevant in light of the readiness of the states and territories to participate in a streamlined national scheme and the need for cooperation in greenhouse reporting between all jurisdictions. Therefore, Labor supported the Committee’s second recommendation – that Subclauses 27(1) and 27(2) (c) be amended to provide for reporting information to be given to the state governments – and welcomes the amendment to this end.”

Need to consider all stakeholders: Overall, the impact of the legislation on all stakeholders into the future had to be considered, Wortley said. In the absence of Federal Government leadership on climate change, state governments had led the way and their efforts should be supported rather than handicapped.

Insufficient time Wortley complained that submitting organizations were not allowed sufficient time to formulate and furnish their views on the proposed provisions. All but three of the more than 30 submissions were received after the closing date, she said. The unseemly haste in dealing with a matter of significant complexity and acute importance highlighted the Government’s fixation on ramming through its Bills before they could be properly and comprehensively examined, she said. Wortley suggested that “… the sooner we act on emissions trading, the longer the economy will have to adjust to new market signals, and the better placed we’ll be to prosper in new and growing international carbon markets. Therefore, because of its intent, Labor supports this Bill. But as ever, we emphasise the importance of realising that intent through a well thought-out, consultative legislative framework, rather than a hastily drafted, lone-handed document.”

Reference: Dana Wortley, Senator for South Australia, Australia Labor Party, Senate Hansard, Commonwealth of Australia, 20 September 2007.

Erisk Net, 7/10/2007

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