On this day, 21 years ago, the Australian Financial Review did an interview with the then executive director of the Business Council of Australia, Paul Barratt. A month previously a last-minute proposal for a carbon tax had been brought to Cabinet by the Environment Minister, Senator John Faulkner. Business was seriously under-whelmed, having believed that their ‘co-operative action’ stance had seen of the threat. The Fin reported that Barratt believed, thanks to the environment movement’s loss on wood-chipping, that
‘The search for quick revenue raisers and a political sop to heal the breach with environmental groups in the run-up to this year’s Federal election had put a carbon tax squarely back on the Government’s pre-Budget agenda.’
Wallace, C. 1995. Environment taxes tipped to placate enraged greens. The Australian Financial Review, 3 January, p.3.
As it turned out, the tax proposal was defeated (announcement made 13 February 1995) and Australia instead plumped for ‘voluntary action’ in the shape of Greenhouse 21C. Of which more another day…
Also on this day –
2016 The Australian reported that a “‘new deal’ blueprint for sweeping reform of Australia’s environment laws that puts climate change at the centre of future economic decision-making is being prepared by a coalition of 40 leading conservation groups.”
Oh dear. That didn’t go so well perhaps…