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National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Bill 2007: all-powerful Commonwealth reporting power could potentially usurp or marginalise state laws and programs

Posted by gmarkets on 12 October, 2007

Speaking on the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Bill 2007, on 20 September 2007, Penny Wong, Senator for South Australia, said the bill established a single national framework for reporting greenhouse gas emissions, emission reduction actions, and energy consumption and production by corporations from 1 July 2008.

State governments have led the way: Wong said a greenhouse reporting bill was necessary to underpin a national emissions trading scheme. Federal Labor had a longstanding commitment to implementing emissions trading as a sensible and flexible approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and recognised that this legislation was fundamental to what it believed should be a growing bipartisan approach to tackling climate change. She said that the state governments — rather than the federal government — had led the way and their efforts should be supported, rather than Commonwealth legislation taking control.

Bill has had insufficient consultation time: Wong noted the thresholds and time lines were loose and slow so as to prevent an ‘as soon as practical’ introduction of emissions trading. Labor had referred the bill to the Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Communications, Information Technology and the Arts for review. That Senate inquiry heard that the bill was put together without due consultation over a few weeks between July and August – insufficient time to produce such important legislation.

Reference: Penny Wong, Senator for South Australia, Shadow Minister for Workforce, Australian Labor Party, Senate Hansard, Commonwealth of Australia, 20 September 2007.

Erisk Net, 7/10/2007

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