The Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, Wayne Swan, and the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Greg Combet, today released exposure drafts of the key bills in the Government’s Clean Energy Legislative Package.
The plan will introduce a carbon price to reduce Australia’s carbon pollution and drive investment in renewable energy while ensuring households are assisted and jobs are supported.
“The release of the Clean Energy Legislative Package is the next step forward in this major economic and environmental reform,” Mr Swan said.
“The Government is now releasing exposure drafts of the legislation and will seek comments from the public, stakeholders and legal experts.”
Mr Combet said the Gillard Government was getting on with the job of legislating to tackle climate change by putting a price tag on every tonne of pollution produced by around 500 large polluters from 1 July 2012.
“This legislative package will give businesses and investors certainty about the carbon price, allowing them to plan new investments including in the renewable and clean energy technologies of the future,” Mr Combet said.
The Clean Energy Legislative Package includes four main bills – the Clean Energy Bill 2011 (which sets up the carbon price mechanism); the Clean Energy Regulator Bill 2011 (which establishes a regulatory body to administer the mechanism); the Climate Change Authority Bill 2011 (which establishes a new Authority to advise the government on the future design of the carbon price mechanism) and the Clean Energy (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2011.
In addition there are several bills dealing with other consequential and procedural matters and bills dealing with fuel tax arrangements.
The legislative package also includes provisions for the Government’s Jobs and Competiveness Program, which will assist for emissions-intensive and trade-exposed industries, and for the Energy Security Fund which will assist electricity generators to ensure energy security.
An additional bill which incorporates the Government’s household assistance measures announced is currently being drafted.
This legislation will be part of the whole package that will be introduced into Parliament later this year and will deliver the Government’s commitments to households in full.
The Government will provide tax cuts, increases in family payments and higher pensions and other benefits to assist households with the modest cost impacts of a carbon price.
Submissions on the Clean Energy Legislative Package can be sent to the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency until 5pm on Monday, 22 August 2011.
The draft bills and a fact sheet are available at www.climatechange.gov.au
Submissions or questions about the draft bills can be emailed to email@example.com
The Government will consider submissions on the drafting of the bills before they are introduced into the Parliament.
MAKING IT LAW
The Gillard Government has released draft legisilation for community consultation regarding securing a Clean Energy Future.
What is in the legislative package?
Labor’s plan will cut carbon pollution and drive investment in clean energy technologies and infrastructure like solar, gas and wind. Importantly the package;
- Implements a price on pollution for around 500 of Australia’s biggest polluters.The package sets out how the price on pollution will be run, and what businesses will have to do. The price on pollution will make energy produced from polluting fuels cost more than energy produced by clean technology, so companies will have an incentive to invest in cleaner energy.
- Supports jobs by providing for assistance to emissions intensive and trade exposed industries through the Jobs and Competitiveness Program.
- Gives land holders access to new income opportunities by linking the carbon price to the Carbon Farming Initiative and to credible schemes overseas;
Labor will also give assistance to Australian households that need it most, like pensioners and low and middle income earners – 9/10 families will receive assistance through tax cuts and/or payment increases.
What happens now?
Later this year the bill incorporating these household assistance measures will be introduced into Parliament later this year.
Between July 28 & August 22 the Clean Energy Legislative Package is available for public consultation before the legislation is considered by the Parliament. You can learn more about the consultation here.
For all the key milestones in the next 12 months about securing a Clean Energy Future in law download this factsheet. The Fact sheet also outlines each bill that will be considered in parliament and what the bill will cover.
A carbon price will have a modest impact on prices. But to make sure families can deal with any changes, the Labor Government will provide generous household assistance.
- 9 in 10 households will receive assistance through tax cuts and/or payment increases.
- Almost 6 million households will get tax cuts or increases in payments that cover the entire average price impact.
- Over 4 million Australian households will get an extra buffer with assistance that covers 120% of the average price impact of the carbon price.
- Over 1 million Australians will no longer need to lodge a tax return.
- On average, it will cost households $9.90 per week but they get $10.10 per week in assistance This assistance is permanent and will increase.
- The Government will review the adequacy of assistance each year and will increase it further if necessary.
Australian families have seen electricity price rises, due to underinvestment in network infrastructure by state and territory governments. This infrastructure includes 850,000 kilometres of poles and wires which deliver electricity to Australian homes, businesses, hospitals and schools.
This underinvestment has already caused electricity prices to rise, putting pressure on the family budget. Unless this underinvestment is tackled, prices will continue to rise. Tony Abbott and the Liberals don’t want families and households to know the truth about why electricity prices are rising.
A price on carbon will have an impact on electricity prices, but the government has committed to giving households assistance to deal with price rises.
Every cent raised by the carbon price will go to assisting households with price impacts, supporting jobs in the most affected industries and investing in climate change and clean energy programs.
Assistance will be generous, but importantly, it will also be fair. Assistance will be targeted towards the people who need it most.
Consultation open: Legislative package
The draft bills and accompanying fact sheet are available at the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency website.