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April 1, 2011

Treasury reveals cost of carbon tax on Australian families

Treasury reveals cost of carbon tax on Australian families

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Friday, April 1, 2011

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard
Image: MystifyMe Concert Photography.

Treasury documents released today under the Freedom of Information (FOI) act reveal that Australians could face up to an A$863 rise in household costs per annum if the government proceeds with its plans to put a tax on carbon emissions.

The documents reveal an a annual price rise of $218.40 for electricity, $114.40 for gas, $187.20 for petrol and $88.40 for food for the average household. The treasury modelling was based on a $30 carbon tax, but also estimated other prices such as a $40 tax which predicted a rise of over $1,100 to the average household’s annual budget. However, they do not take into account the compensation deals and offsets promised by the government if a price is put on carbon.

After viewing the treasury modelling, Treasurer Wayne Swan and Climate Change Minister Greg Combet released a joint statement saying without the finalization of compensation packages it is too early to predict price rises. “No final decisions on the starting price or assistance have been taken and therefore it is far too early to speculate on any potential price impacts,” the statement said. Until the final design and modelling have been settled, anyone who uses these figures to scare families about prices is engaging in a dishonest, misleading scare campaign.”

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said the figures demonstrated the toll a carbon tax would have on Australian families. This just demonstrates that the Government has known all along that its carbon tax won’t clean up the environment but it will clean out your wallet,” he said. That’s right and this is $863 a year in extra burden that the Australian people shouldn’t have to pay. This is an $863 a year hit on families’ cost of living. Families are doing it tough as things stand. They don’t need a bad situation made much, much worse by Julia Gillard’s carbon tax.”

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has also officially opposed the adoption of a carbon tax. A resolution was passed by all 30 members at their general meeting to reject the Federal government’s plan.



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June 3, 2006

Australia in the midst of a \”baby boom\”

Australia in the midst of a “baby boom” – Wikinews, the free news source

Australia in the midst of a “baby boom”

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Saturday, June 3, 2006

Australia
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Australia would appear to be in the middle of a baby boom, with the largest number of births recorded since 1992. Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that 261,400 births were registered in 2005, 6,200 more than 2004.

Australian treasurer, Peter Costello believes his speech during the 2004 election may have influenced Australians to have more children. In 2004, Mr Costello said that each family should have three children. After seeing the statistics for 2005, he said “One for mum, one for dad, and one for the country – it was a light-hearted way of making a serious point,”

“I am delighted that at least some families have been taking up the challenge,” said Mr Costello.

The Howard government believes that Australia’s aging population and low birth rates will threaten the country’s economy in the future.

As part of the 2004 budget, the Howard government introduced an AUD $3,000 maternity payment to all mothers who give birth to a child. As of July, the payment will increase to $4,000. As a further incentive to have more children the government increased family tax benefits and from July, will allow families to claim a 30 percent childcare rebate (capped at AUD$3000 per year).

Wayne Swan, the opposition’s treasury spokesperson said Mr Costello isn’t the reason for the boom. “I am willing to let Peter Costello claim credit for higher interest rates, even higher fuel prices, but I think claiming his charms have lifted the national libido may be a bridge too far” he said.

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June 1, 2006

Australian House of Representatives has \”no rules\”: Gillard

Australian House of Representatives has “no rules”: Gillard

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Thursday, June 1, 2006

The Australian House of Representatives descended into rows between opposition and government members today

The Australian Labor Party has accused speaker of the Australian House of Representatives, David Hawker (Liberal, Wannon) of failing to be impartial.

During question time today, opposition leader, Kim Beazley (Labor, Brand) asked the government to confirm comments made by Cameron Thompson (Liberal, Blair), which asked for Prime Minister John Howard (Liberal, Bennelong) to explain his role in the failed merger of the Nationals and Liberals in Queensland. According to Mr Beazley, Mr Thompson claims that the president of the Liberal party in Queensland was appointed by Mr Howard and that his actions would have been known and agreed upon by the Prime Minister.

The house’s speaker refused to allow Mr Beazley to debate his question claiming it was not relevant. Mr Beazley argued that his question directly related to Mr Howard in his capacity as Prime Minister and to disallow his question was “shutting down accountability”.

The opposition’s next woe came when Stephen Smith (Labor, Perth) asked the Prime Minister to confirm accusations that the government’s new industrial relations laws (called Workchoices) had placed pressure on the low pay commission to lower the minimum wage of Australian workers. Mr Howard took the opportunity to attack Mr Beazley’s role as Minister for Employment, Education and Training in 1993 saying that he had contempt for the unemployed.

Anthony Albanese (Labor, Grayndler) raised a point of order, claiming that the Prime Minister’s answer was irrelevant. This was refused by the speaker, who said that Mr Howard was attempting to answer a “lengthy question”. Mr Albanese then interrupted Mr Howard as he was continuing his attack on Mr Beazley telling the speaker that the question was very specific and that Mr Howard’s answer was irrelevant. Mr Albanese was ordered to resume his seat, and when he failed to do so was ordered out of the house.

Following Mr Albanese’s ejection, Mr Smith argued that the Prime Minister was not answering his question before also being ordered out of the house by the speaker. As Mr Howard began to continue his answer, Julia Irwin (Labor, Fowler) interrupted Mr Howard. Mrs Irwin was then ordered to leave the house.

The opposition found itself another member short in the house after Julia Gillard (Labor, Lalor) was removed for calling Health Minister Tony Abbott (Liberal, Warringah) an “idiot”. Ms Gillard’s comment followed Mr Abbott tabling a document written by Medibank Private relating to a media campaign to counter negative views on its sale. Part of the document claimed that Medibank Private had “established a hypothetical but possible scenario: Julia Gillard arguing that the sale will mean higher premiums”.

Mr Abbott joked that “Medibank Private sure know the member for Lalor (Julia Gillard)”.

It was Ms Gillard’s second ejection in two days. She was removed from the house yesterday for calling Mr Abbott a “snivelling grub”, the same term Mr Abbott labeled an opposition MP last week without being removed.

Following the house’s question time, Mr Abbott and Peter Costello (Liberal, Higgins) accused Lindsay Tanner (Labor, Melbourne), Wayne Swan (Labor, Lilley) and Kim Wilkey (Labor, Swan) of deliberately blocking a camera’s view of Mr Howard during one of his answers. Mr Tanner said “It’s not our fault he’s short” and Mr Wilkie said that he never raised from his chair and that Mr Abbott needed to “get his facts straight”.

Following her removal, Ms Gillard told reporters that speaker of the house, Mr Hawker had double standards. “We’ve reached a stage … where there are no rules in the House of Representatives,” Ms Gillard said.

“Four Opposition members were tossed out of Parliament today. I don’t think anybody watching question time could say that’s a fair result.”

“We’ve seen double standards in operation all week” she said.

She said that it was not unusual for people to walk around the chamber and talk to each other during question while government members were speaking.

“At the end of the day there is wandering around and chatter in question time,” she said.

“But why is that? Because the quality of what’s coming off the government front bench doesn’t bear listening to” she said.

Sources

  • Maria Hawthorne, David Crawshaw and Melissa Polimeni. “Gillard thrown out again” — The Daily Telegraph, June 1, 2006
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December 21, 2005

Work Choices Fair Pay Chief heavily criticised

Work Choices Fair Pay Chief heavily criticised

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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Work Choices Fair Pay Chief: Ian Harper

Professor Ian Harper the government appointed Fair Pay Chief has come under heavy criticism this week from the Labour groups and the federal opposition.

Professor Harper was a non-executive director of the Australian Derivatives Exchange (ADX) when it was put under administration in March 28, 2001. The company went broke owing workers more than $700,000. In the process ADX breached the corporations law by failing to maintain required cash reserves , although the company eventually gave workers their w:entitlements.

Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews appointed Professor Harper in October, Mr Andrews spokesman Defended the appointment saying the government was aware of the economist’s history with the company and said in relation Professor Harper role in ADX ’s demise: “There has been absolutely no wrongdoing,” “The government was made aware by Prof Harper, and also by doing a check ourselves, of the company going into administration.” “We believe that Prof Harper is an eminently qualified person to head up the Australian Fair Pay Commission.”

Wayne Swan the Oppositions treasury, who has attacked the government over the Robert Gerards appointment to the reserve bank affair,spokesman has said there were serious questions to answer about Prof Harper’s appointment. “There is a pattern of behaviour here and a stench that surrounds the Howard government,”. “This is a government whose actions and appointments are blinded by extreme ideology.” Mr Swan said commenting on the recent history of important government appointments.

Sharan Burrow the president of the ACTU has told ABC radio that the government must better scrutinize Mr Harper’s business behaviour. “How on earth can they expect Australians to have any faith in their so-called Fair Pay Commission if the very head they’ve appointed, another government mate, is under a cloud,”

Controversial Government Appointments

  • Robert Gerard
  • Ian Harper

Workchoices issue related news

Wikinews Australia has in-depth coverage of this issue: Australian industrial relations legislation, 2005

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Australian industrial relations legislation
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December 2, 2005

Federal Opposition hounds Treasurer over appointment to RBA board, Gerard resigns

Federal Opposition hounds Treasurer over appointment to RBA board, Gerard resigns

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Friday, December 2, 2005 The Australian Federal Opposition has hounded the Treasurer, Peter Costello, over the appointment of Robert Gerard to the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) board. Mr Gerard announced on Friday 2nd that he will resign from the Board, citing the events of this week as the reason.

On Tuesday, November 29, Wayne Swan, the Shadow Treasurer asked of Costello in the first question of Question Time about an apparent statement that Costello made to Gerard, namely, “I know there’s an issue with the Tax Office but I don’t have a problem with you on the board”. Costello responded that he had no problem with Gerard, noting that “he brings a great understanding of Australian manufacturing industry to the board”, and that the obligatory declaration of interest was “indeed was signed by Mr Gerard”.

Later it was said by Swan in the House of Representatives that Gerard’s company was using “tax havens as tax avoidance schemes to the value of $150 million” and that the declaration of interest mentioned was only in regard to his personal affairs and on asking the Treasurer when he knew this, claimed that him actually knowing the information “would breach the secrecy act”. Later Swan revealed that Gerard “and his corporate vehicles” have been “susbtantial donors” to the Liberal Party. Costello maintained that the Government “[does] not think that supporting the Liberal Party is a disqualification from holding ministerial office, prime ministerial office, Treasury office or other offices in Australia”

Swan moved a censure motion to “provide this House with a full and proper explanation of…his communications with Mr Robert Gerard…and his knowledge of Mr Robert Gerard’s dispute with the Australian Taxation Office…”, which failed in the Government’s favour with votes 83 to 59 in division.

On Wednesday, November 30, Swan opened the House in a movement to suspend standing orders again to get information from the Treasurer, stating that “The Treasurer is in real strife” before the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer moved the gag. In Question Time, the Opposition continued to ask every question in regard to the appointment of Gerard. The Leader of the Opposition Kim Beazley revealed in his question to the Treasurer that “some of his cabinet colleagues have privately said that they did not consider Mr Gerard was ‘a good choice’ in the first place for the Reserve Bank board”. The Treasurer responded that Gerard’s “appointment was supported by all members of the cabinet”

In the subsequent Matters of Public Importance debate, the matter selected was that proposed by Wayne Swan, namely, “The need for the Treasurer to uphold the highest standards of probity in the selection of candidates for the Reserve Bank Board.”

On Thursday, December 1, the Opposition again reserved a number of its questions for inquiring about Gerard’s appointment. Swan revealed in a question to the Treasurer that Gerard Corporation had “acquired an investment company in the tax haven of the British Virgin Islands eight months after the Treasurer recommended his appointment to the Reserve Bank board”. Costello responded to Swan referring him to “a statement about that allegation in the Australian Financial Review today…in which he makes it clear that no income has been derived.”

Later, the Leader of the Opposition tried to move a censure motion on the treasurer, but leave of the House was not granted, so he had to resort to moving a motion to suspend standing orders to move the same motion, to censure the Treasurer for his appointment. The motion failed due to Government numbers, but the Matters for Public Importance (which follows Question Time) which was selected as “The need for the Government to govern for all Australians not just a privileged few.” in order to draw a comparison with the unequal treatment of the Treasurer in supporting Gerard and the new industrial relations legislation, dubbed WorkChoices, and said how the Treasurer and the Prime Minister were “laughing up their sleeves”, that the Treasurer was “not fit to lead”, and Gerard “is the worst attendee on the Reserve Bank board.”

The Minister for Workplace Relations, Kevin Andrews, however focused elsewhere on the MPI, and drew the attention of the Australian Labor Party’s ties to the unions, had described the Opposition as a “policy free zone”, said that “there is one group that represents privilege in this place and that is the Australian Labor Party”, and stressed the benefits of WorkChoices.

Craig Emerson noted that the Queensland branch of the Liberal Party participated in “deliberate tax evasion”, and that Mr Gerard “paid penalty tax in circumstances of deliberate tax evasion”. Emerson later said that the Liberal Party was “soft on tax cheats”, “soft on tax cheating Liberal Party donors…and members”.

The adjournment debate also brought up criticism of Gerard’s appointment in the adjournment debate. Christopher Bowen noted the “disquiet” in the media, and noted the previous Board member Bernie Fraser also calling for his dismissal. Bernard Ripoll called for a “full inquiry” into the Government’s “self serving public policy”.

Swan has said that Gerard had done the “honourable thing”, but that he will not let up on pressing the Treasurer for a full disclosal of the facts.

The House of Representatives as of this date sits next on December 5, 2005.

Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
  • Australian House of Representatives Hansard, dates November 28 through December 1 inclusive.
  • Gerard quits RBA board” — Australian Broadcasting Corporation, December 2, 2005
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November 3, 2005

Australian Members of Parliament removed from chamber again in rowdy session of Question Time

Australian Members of Parliament removed from chamber again in rowdy session of Question Time

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Thursday, November 3, 2005 In what appears to be a continuing trend from the Australian House of Representatives Question Time session November 2, an further six Federal Opposition members and one Government member were ejected during and just after Question Time November 3.

Anthony Albanese, having been warned earlier to Question Time was the first removed, and after Opposition members had interjected “Boring, boring!” to an answer from the Australian Treasurer Peter Costello describing the Opposition stance on the industrial relations reform as a “scare campaign”, the Speaker Neil Andrew issued a “general warning”.

Wayne Swan, Tanya Plibersek|Tanya Plibersek, Jill Hall, Julia Irwin (who was also removed yesterday) were also asked to remove themselves under standing order 94(a).

When controversy arose after a question was asked to the Leader of the House, Tony Abbott, about the issue of distributing bills on the industrial relations changes and the Speaker intervened in favour of Abbott, he went on to say that Stephen Smith “took copies of the workplace relations bill, handed them to an adviser and then the adviser exited the chamber…he then raised a point of order claiming copies were not available”. Graham Edwards said “You’re a fraud, Abbott!” and he was also removed.

Later, when Smith rose after Question Time to make a personal explanation that he did not “[remove] nor [steal] 60 copies of the bill”, Michael Ferguson had interjected and was removed — the only Government member to be removed over the previous few days. Julia Gillard asked the Speaker that of the eighteen Opposition members and one Government member removed over the last two days, “whether 18:1…equals a fair application of the rules as to keeping order in the House”, to which he said that “the last two days have been particularly noisy and…it has required more discipline than the chair would like to have to exercise.”

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January 21, 2005

Beazley may face challengers for leadership

Beazley may face challengers for leadership

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Friday, January 21, 2005

Kim Beazley, Labor backbencher and former party leader, may have to face challengers in his bid to fill the vacuum left by the resignation of previous labor leader Mark Latham. Both Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd and Shadow Health minister Julia Gillard have been actively trying to shore up support for bids at the leadership.

Beazley is the only person to have declared his candidacy so far, while both Gillard and Rudd have both refused to commit to running or not running. After returning from his tour of tsunami devastated South East Asia Rudd said that, “Once I’ve had a shave, what I’d like to do is hit the phones and talk to colleagues”.

Frontbencher Laurie Ferguson who is backing Ms Gillard told ABC radio that, “From what I gather around the place, I think there’s a number of people urging her to run. Quite frankly I think Gillard is the most impressive person. I think she’ll fire people. It’s a new look for the party. It’s a woman. It’s different. We’re not talking about someone who’s just a trendy commodity. She’s actually intelligent, articulate and strong-minded.”

Regarding the leadership challenge opposition treasury spokesman Wayne Swan said: “There are a whole host of problems the Labor Party has to confront, not just the leadership. We do have to confront matters of policy, the development of our economic policy, the structure of the party – these are all important issues and they have to be on the table. But to resolve any of these issues we have to have the maximum degree of unity and that is why the leader that is elected should be elected with a very strong mandate.”

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