none

XENOPHON CALLS FOR SA TO DEVELOP THEIR OWN ELECTRICITY EMISSIONS TRADING SCHEME

18-08-2016
by 
in 

The South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon has said that state governments should establish their own joint trading schemes if the federal government continues to refuse to put a price on carbon.

At an industry conference in Port Pirie, Senator Xenophon said that the scheme would lower prices overall.

"The sooner that COAG acts, or alternatively the Victorian and South Australian governments, the sooner consumers and businesses will have real relief in power prices with enhanced reliability," he said.

"It could and should happen this year."

Senator Xenophon said he had discussed the proposal with South Australian Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis, and had written to the federal Minister Josh Frydenberg, urging the issue be discussed at a national meeting of energy ministers on Friday.

He continues to say that instead of advocating for a nationwide carbon price, the Federal Government should bring forward the original scheme put forward in 2009, when Malcolm Turnbull was the opposition leader.

"We, as in Malcolm and me, jointly commissioned Frontier Economics to come up with an alternative emissions trading scheme to [then prime minister Kevin Rudd's] carbon pollution reduction scheme," he said.

That scheme would effectively see dirty power generators pay cleaner generators to run more.

"Instead of placing a tax on every tonne of carbon generated by power producers, a price for pollution would only kick in if a power plant was above a certain level of intensity and below that level, a credit is provided," Senator Xenophon said.

"That is dirty generators would have to pay cleaner generators to run more."

He continued to say that the scheme would displace coal-fired generators and give a credit for idle and underutilised gas generators, like Adelaide's Pelican Point power station, to start up.

"Such an approach would also reduce prices significantly," he said.

"A price reduction in the order of one-third of the wholesale price which would mean 10 to 15 per cent in price cuts for consumers, and inevitably more for large users."

Federal Industry Minister Greg Hunt said while Friday's COAG meeting would discuss major reforms to the National Electricity Market, an emissions trading scheme was not on the agenda.

"We have a system that's working, that's reducing emissions without introducing an electricity tax. And we're not about to introduce an electricity tax."

South Australian Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said Senator Xenophon's proposal had already been considered by numerous bodies, including COAG.

"I am sure this idea is one of the many things we will discuss on Friday at what is an incredibly important COAG meeting," he said.

"The main point I agree with Mr Xenophon on is that this is an urgent issue that requires the ministers to take back power in decision making, form a consensus and agree to a reform of the energy market."

Related news & editorials

  1. 25.05.2018
    25.05.2018
    by      In
    The global space industry has undergone a major transformation since astronauts first walked on the Moon in the late 1960s. Half a century later, it is more appropriately known as the global space economy.
    Whereas once space was the domain of governments alone, now it attracts a massive private... Read More
  2. 21.05.2018
    21.05.2018
    by      In
    This year’s federal budget was delivered during National Manufacturing Week. Apart from that coincidence, however, the budget had almost no connection to Australia’s manufacturers.
    There is certainly nothing in it resembling a plan for the future of the sector, or any recognition of the importance... Read More
  3. 15.05.2018
    15.05.2018
    by      In
    South Australia is looking to follow the blueprint of neighbouring export powerhouse New Zealand in a bid to turn its economy around.
    Steven Marshall’s Liberal Government won the March 17 state election, and Marshall has vowed to lower taxes, streamline approval processes and grow exports.
    Several... Read More
  4. 07.05.2018
    07.05.2018
    by      In
    Making the tax system work for everyone is one of the most important tasks facing any government.
    Governments need to collect enough revenue to fund all their activities, from infrastructure spending to provision of healthcare and education.
    They need to ensure that the tax burden is fairly... Read More