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PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Speech Press Conference Announcement Greg Hunt - Minister for the Environment Clive Palmer - Leader of the Palmer United Party Bernie Fraser - Former Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia GH: At the last election we found the mandate to abolish the carbon Tax, we did that. We did that with the support of the cross bench and I thank the Palmer United Party for their support and savings from the abolition of the carbon tax are being delivered to families and businesses as we speak. Electricity prices have had their lowest drop, their lowest most significant reduction on record. We also said that we would implement a practical direct action plan to reduce emissions, we committed to a $2.55 Billion fund which would do real things to reduce emissions and to have Australia achieve our targets. We were crystal clear that we would abolish the carbon tax and we did that. We were crystal clear that we would support an emissions reduction fund and bring that to the Parliament. I am pleased today to announce that the Government has reached an agreement with the Palmer United Party for their support in legislative passage of the emissions reduction fund. We will do this by working together to support the carbon farming innovative bill of 2014. The bill establishes the mechanism by which the fund will be implemented. Two big things occur; 1. We protect existing projects 2. We provide opportunities for farmers and small businesses to improve their soils, to reduce emissions, for Australians to participate in energy efficiency on a grand scale. To do practical things such as cleaning up waste coal mine gas and waste land fill gas. These are the things which will actually reduce our emissions without an electricity tax or gas tax which we have abolished. As part of the arrangements we have agreed to amendments proposed to by the Palmer United Party in relation to the Carbon farming innovative for things such as extending capacity of indigenous communities to engage in savanna burning. We appreciate the fact that they are not proceeding with their emissions trading scheme bill and similarly as a gesture of good faith, we will not be proceeding with the climate change authority abolition bill for the life of this parliament and we have also agreed as a gesture of good faith, that the authority will conduct a review examining whether there are emissions trading arrangements in other countries and in what form they take. There are more details on that, but let me be clear, we set out to abolish the carbon tax and replace it with an emissions reduction fund. We have abolished the carbon tax and as I said in question time we have abolished it lock, stock and barrel and that remains our position and we will continue our position. But this has been a very fruitful negotiation and I want to particularly thank Mr Palmer for that. He is a good person to negotiate with. CP: Thanks Greg, I'd just like to say and congratulate the Prime Minister and the Minister on their initiative and it is important to us. I stood before you all four months ago with Al Gore, former Vice President of the USA, when we thought that our environment policy of this country was under challenge. Since that time, we have been able as a party to achieve the retention of the Climate Change Authority, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. Today we have kept hope alive on an ETS with the Climate Change Authority under Bernie Fraser carrying out an 18-month enquiry into the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) which will be a three-stage process, with reports back to Parliament by November this year and then by June 2015 and with a report for Parliament completed after the United Nations climate change conference in Paris ending 30 June 2016. So, we think we have kept alive an ETS and I think from our prospective once our trading partners all have an ETS, it’s The Last Sentry at the Gate: Clive Palmer & the 44th Parliament of Australia 17


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