Australian PM opens on carbon tax call

19:40, September 16, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Thursday said she will not rule in or out the prospect of introducing a carbon tax in Australia.

Thursday morning, Gillard refused to commit to a specific timetable, but she reinforced her commitment to convening a cross- party committee to discuss the issue of carbon pricing.

In a call to action, the world's biggest mining company BHP Billiton on Wednesday night shocked the business community by urging the Federal Government to take leadership on a carbon tax.

BHP Billiton chief executive Marius Kloppers said the Government should not wait for a global price to be put on carbon before it moves to substantially reduce the nation's carbon emissions, adding that Australia also needed to lower its dependence on coal-fired power generation while warning consumers should shoulder some of the added cost.

His comments have drawn broad support from industry which has been looking for certainty on the issue of carbon pricing.

"I welcome the statements from Mr Kloppers," Gillard told ABC News.

"Obviously many members of the business community, Mr Kloppers included, have made statements and have called over quite a long period of time now for Government to deal with the question of pricing carbon," she said.

"It's absolutely no secret after particularly the election campaign that the Government believes we need to work towards a price on carbon. The Government has consistently said we want to work towards a price on carbon.

"We obviously have indicated we think a market-based mechanism can provide that price.

"But we have also agreed with the Greens and more broadly that we will have an inclusive climate change committee to work towards a better way of addressing climate change in Australia."

But Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said introducing a carbon tax would hurt Australia's international competitiveness, and is urging Gillard to reject the idea.

"This idea that we here in Australia should put a big tax on our businesses and on our consumers in the absence of similar action from other countries would just put our exports at a terrible competitive disadvantage," Abbott said.

"It's really up to the Government now to confirm post-election what it said pre-election, that they completely reject a carbon tax."

Meanwhile, the Greens said BHP Billiton is showing common sense by advocating a carbon price.

Source: Xinhua


  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • Photo taken on Sept. 29, 2011 shows a cargo ship in danger on the sea near Zhuhai City, south China's Guangdong Province. Cargo ship Fangzhou 6 of Qingzhou of southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region lost control after water stormed into its cabin due to Typhoon Nesat on the sea near Zhuhai Thursday, leaving 12 crew members in danger. Rescuers rushed to the ship and saved them by using a helicopter. (Xinhua)
  • Actress Gong Li poses for L'Officiel Magazine. (Xinhua Photo)
  • Demonstrators from the Occupy Wall Street campaign hold placards as they march in the financial district of New York September 29, 2011. After hundreds of protesters were denied access to some areas outside the New York Stock Exchange on September 17, demonstrators set up a rag-tag camp three blocks away. Zuccotti Park is a campground festooned with placards and anti-Wall Street slogans. The group is adding complaints of excessive police force against protesters and police treatment of ethnic minorities and Muslims to its grievances list, which includes bank bailouts, foreclosures and high unemployment. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
  • The romantic myth of the Aegean 
The Aegean Sea is between the Greece Peninsula and Asia Minor Peninsula, dotted with many beautiful scenery islands, like a paradise on earth.  The ancient city of Troy in the east coast of Aegean, Turkey, and Mycenaean sites in the west bank of Greece, which have been archaeological discoveries, now are the must visit places in journey of the Aegean Sea. Above, these desolate dilapidated stone, the sunny blue sky and white clouds and vessels roaming at sea, arriving and departing travellers, add more romantic to the sea and the islands.
  • Chinese Permanent Representative to the United Nations Li Baodong (R) welcomes UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York, the United States. Sept. 29, 2011. The Chinese permanent delegation to the UN held a reception on Thursday to celebrate the 62nd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and the 40th anniversary of China's returning to the UN. (Xinhua/Shen Hong)
  • Chinese ambassador to Bulgaria Guo Yezhou delivers a speech during the reception in Sofia, capital of Bulgaria, on Sept. 29, 2011. The Chinese Embassy in Bulgaria held a grand reception here on Thursday to celebrate the 62nd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. (Xinhua/Wang Meng)
Hot Forum Discussion