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City may benefit, says ALP

Tuesday, 12th July, 2011

Local Labor Party president Darriea Turley says the carbon tax would be good for the future of the city and the nation and it was only fair that the biggest polluters should pay.

“The people who are (polluting our atmosphere) should be held accountable,” Ms Turley said yesterday

She said the Government had taken the effort to see how everyday citizens will be affected by the new tax.

Ms Turley, who spoke to the BDT from Adelaide, said the tax would bring new opportunities into the city.

“If you look at the opportunities for the wind farm and the geothermal development - this could be a big thing for Broken Hill,” she said.

“Renewable energy is a greater employer than the coal industry in Europe.”

The Greens’ Heidi Hendry, who stood at the State Government election, said this was Australia’s chance to move forward with alternative energy sources as other countries were doing.

“I think it’s important that we are valuing carbon because that in essence means that our country does care about carbon pollution,” she said.

She also dismissed claims families would be worse off under a carbon tax, instead saying the plan “actually had a lot of tax cuts.”

“There’s a lot of benefits put out for pensioners.”

She also restated the Greens’ idea for three thermal solar energy plants to be built in western NSW.

Mr Hendry said the plants were still an option.

“There are alternatives to using coal.”

But local federal MP Sussan Ley painted a grim picture of the government’s carbon tax.

Ms Ley said the newest tax will have a negative impact on tourism, mining and airlines.

She said it would make it too expensive for mining companies to process their ore in Australia and that work would go overseas.

“With a carbon tax here, you won’t be doing downstream processing here, you’ll be doing it in China,” she said.

Ms Ley also rubbished claims made by the Greens that renewable energy could become the new base load energy in the near future.

“We have a very strong renewable energy policy in our carbon policy, the Direct Action policy.

“The difference is, what the Greens don’t understand is, renewable energy can’t take the place of base load power.

“Even the Snowy Hydro doesn’t replace base load power.”

Ms Ley said the city’s tourism industry was also under threat from the tax.

“The aviation industry is not exempt from the carbon tax.

“The cost of international travel to Australia is going to go up a great deal.

“The cost of learning to fly is almost out of reach for an average person.”

Ms Ley said a further increase in these costs would lead to more overseas-trained pilots.

 

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