FEDERAL Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce welcomed the passing of the legislation through the Senate to put in place the Emissions Reduction Fund.
He said for nearly five years the Emissions Reduction Fund has been the centrepiece of the Coalition’s plan to tackle climate change.
“Unlike Labor’s multi-billion dollar carbon tax, it is a cost effective and practical approach that will reduce our national emissions,” Mr Joyce said.
“The Coalition took plans for an Emissions Reduction Fund to two elections. Labor never took plans for a carbon tax to an election. In fact, Labor promised never to introduce a carbon tax.
“Labor’s objection to the Emissions Reduction Fund is utter hypocrisy.
“They want to be the champions on the environment, but when you look at what they do it’s all words, and nothing else.
“At the last election the Coalition was given a clear mandate to introduce the Emissions Reduction Fund and we are delivering on our commitment.
“We are delivering on our promise to the Australian people and to the New England Electorate community to tackle climate change without a painful carbon tax,” Mr Joyce said.
The $2.55 billion Emissions Reduction Fund will help businesses and communities in the New England Electorate enjoy the benefits of a cleaner environment and help Australia to meet its emissions reduction target of five per cent below 2000 levels by 2020.
“We’re providing incentives for businesses and organisations in the New England to come forward with emissions reductions opportunities that they’ve identified across the Australian economy,” Mr Joyce said.
Competitive auctions will be held and the Government will enter into contracts to buy emissions reductions from successful bidders at lowest cost.
There are already over 170 projects underway under the Carbon Farming Initiative. The passage of this legislation will secure jobs for those businesses and will create opportunities for others.
We will achieve emissions reductions that are real and significant. This is because payment for abatement will only be made when emissions reductions are actually delivered.
The contrast between the climate change policies of the Coalition and Labor could not be starker. We want to provide incentives to create positive change. Labor wants to punish families in the New England Electorate for going about their everyday lives.
The Carbon Farming Initiative Amendment Bill 2014, which puts in place the Emissions Reduction Fund, will now return to the House of Representatives.