Elliot strikes out at sceptics
AS the controversial Copenhagen negotiations on climate change got under way yesterday, Federal Labor MP for Richmond Justine Elliot weighed into the argument locally, accusing Liberal and National Party members of being “climate-change deniers and extremists”.
Ms Elliot said her description applied to “any one of the candidates for those parties” who include Pottsville businesswoman Tania Murdock, chosen as the Nationals candidate on Sunday, and Tweed Shire councillor Joan van Lieshout, who hopes to stand for the Liberal Party.
“They are both Tony Abbott’s candidates, a party of extremists, and they want to bring back WorkChoices,” she said.
Ms Elliot said last week’s decision by the Liberal and National Parties to vote down the Government’s climate-change legislation and “put nuclear power back on their agenda” was irresponsible and damaging to the future of our environment.
“The climate-change sceptics and extremists in the Coalition have taken over and stopped Australia from taking decisive action on climate change,” Ms Elliot said.
“The actions of the Liberal and National Parties in the Senate last week marked a gigantic step backwards in our efforts to tackle climate change, and a gigantic step backwards for Australia’s national interest.
Ms Elliot said the Rudd Government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme was the most-effective, responsible way to reduce carbon pollution and help families and businesses make the transition to a greener economy.
She said the policy was designed to limit the nation’s carbon emissions by making polluters pay, and rewarding those who reduce carbon pollution.
“The scheme includes direct cash assistance for nine out of 10 Australian households, and low-income families are expected to receive 120 per cent of any anticipated costs in direct cash assistance,” Ms Elliot said.
“Thirty-two countries already have national emissions trading schemes, four other major economies are moving towards emissions trading and 27 states and provinces in the US and Canada are introducing emissions trading.
“The Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme is responsible action and it is in the national interest.”