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Minister for the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts 2001-2004

The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP



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Media Release
Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp

19 May 2004

Latham would trade away Australian jobs

Last week Mark Latham promised that he would adopt an emissions trading scheme as part of his response to climate change.

Today we see the dangers of such a reckless promise. Today we see the effect on Australian electricity prices, on the Australian economy and on Australian jobs that such a radical response would have.

The secret report prepared by Allen Consulting for Victorian Environment Minister John Thwaites apparently reveals the Latham plan to be a disaster, a roll of the loaded dice designed to attract the votes of green activists at enormous cost to the nation.

According to the Australian (Emission trading to cost jobs, page 7, Wednesday, 19 May 2004 ), the report predicts that "a trading system equivalent to a tax of $5 per tonne of carbon dioxide emitted would cost the national economy at least $2.7 billion, possibly much more, lift power prices by about 5.5 per cent, permanently slow economic growth, reduce employment in 2008 by 15,000 and lower wages."

Mark Latham should answer a very simple question: Should Australia, which accounts for 1.4 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions, take on obligations that will hurt us when eight of the world's 12 largest greenhouse emitters refuse to do so?

In turn, the Australian people must ask themselves a question: Can we afford Latham's rash promises of Kyoto ratification, a ludicrous renewable energy target and an emissions trading system?

The answer to both questions must surely be NO !

Commonwealth of Australia