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Byron Shire
April 13, 2021

Senate should stick with carbon tax

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I hope your readers watched the 4 Corners programme on July 7. It was very confronting to learn that Australia is being left behind by continuing to support an outdated fossil fuel industry and by choosing not to support the renewable energy race to prosperity and a pollution-free future.

This programme revealed the real reason for energy cost increases, ie investment in infrastructure (cost passed on to consumers) which is under-utilised due to a decrease in energy demand. This decrease is due to increased reliance on home-based energy generation via solar panels.

California is leading the way in renewable energy technology. It is time our government did the same. We have unlimited energy resources in wind and solar. Once the infrastructure is installed, the energy is free.

Let’s stop sending our innovative technologies overseas. We can be leaders like California, with a plan for sustainable economic growth that the renewable energy option can provide. This means supporting the carbon tax or other market-based mechanisms which act as a deterrent so that investors will find certainty in renewable energy, which the 4 Corners programme demonstrated is the only way of the future.

An Emissions Trading Scheme with a zero carbon price until the rest of the world comes on board (as suggested by the Palmer United Party) will not provide investor certainty, and will only encourage investors to stick with an outdated unsustainable energy source (ie fossil fuels) or be reluctant to invest in alternative energy sources until they are certain that their investments will provide a profitable dividend.

Let’s hope that common sense prevails when the new Senate votes on the carbon tax. Ensuring quality of life in the future for all Australian citizens is in their hands – to vote for the best interests of the big end of town at the expense of the vulnerable and the environment on which we all depend for quality of life is not in Australia’s best interests.

I trust that there will be a majority in the Senate which chooses to support the carbon tax as the best means of encouraging renewable energy investment in the short term, until there is global consensus to enter a market-based emissions trading scheme with a realistic carbon price which facilitates effective reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Lyn Dickinson, Pottsville

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