Abbott behind the times on climate change

THE Abbott Liberal Government is out of touch with the values and beliefs of Bendigo and central Victoria when it comes to action on climate change, Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters, says.

Ms Chesters said the removal of the Clean Energy Legislation, put forward by the Federal Government in Parliament today, could have a disastrous effect on local industries in central Victoria.

“Local industries such as the solar industry here in central Victoria could be really affected by this move,” she said.

“It could result in people losing their jobs and businesses going bust.

“The Government’s action to axe legislation that was tackling climate change, moving to a modern, greener and cleaner economy, and creating and supporting new central Victorian industries, is out of step with the values of Bendigo and central Victoria.”

Ms Chesters said she, like her Labor colleagues and many else in the community, believe climate change is real and demands strong and sensible action.

She said she would only support the repeal of the Clean Energy Legalisation if it was replaced with an emissions trading scheme.

“I, like many in central Victoria, accept the science of climate change,” she said.

“Since being elected I have met with numerous individuals, groups and organisations demanding that I continue to support the setting of a limit on carbon pollution in some form.

“I only support the repealing of the Clean Energy Legislation (carbon tax) if it is replaced with an ETS.

“An ETS will set a legal limit on carbon pollution and let businesses work out the cheapest 
and most effective way to operate.”

Ms Chesters said another disappointing aspect of the Bills tabled in Parliament today was the abolition of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and Climate Change Authority.

The Climate Change Authority is responsible for reviewing Australia’s emissions reduction goals and progress toward meeting them. This important body was chaired by former Reserve Bank Governor Bernie Fraser and provided a strong, independent voice on Climate Change.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation was established to drive innovation through commercial investments in clean energy through loans, loan guarantees and equity investments.

“I am worried at the economic impact the repeal of the Clean Energy Legislation and the abolition of the CEFC and the Climate Change Authority will have on vital central Victorian industries and communities,” Ms Chesters said.

“Only through working in partnership with industry, communities and government will we continue to transition our economy to a greener, cleaners and lower carbon producing economy.”