Feb 8, 1995 – Business united in anti-carbon tax meeting. Unions too.

Staying with the carbon tax debate- on this day 22 years ago, business played a blinder.  They presented a united front at a ‘business roundtable’ meeting, opposing a tax and proposing a voluntary scheme instead. And, interestingly, they eschewed climate change denial.  The assembled ministers were convinced, and Environment Minister John Falukner realised he wasn’t going to be able to get Cabinet to agree to the tax.  The following day saw this on the front page of the Australian Financial Review –

THE ACTU and the business community have joined in a powerful alliance against the introduction of a carbon tax by the Federal Government.

Behind closed doors in Canberra yesterday, five senior ministers were warned that economic output could be cut by nearly $5 billion over five years if a “small” carbon tax were introduced. And a leading mining group cast doubts over nearly $2 billion of new investment.

The ACTU, while opposed to a carbon tax, proposed a surcharge on income tax if the Government was interested in raising revenue.

More than 20 business groups and the ACTU were involved in yesterday’s ministerial roundtable – attended by Senator Cook (industry), Senator Collins (primary industries), Senator McMullan (trade), Senator Faulkner (environment) and Mr Beddall (resources) – which came after a similar session on Tuesday with environment and community groups.

Callick, R. and Gill, P. 1995. Unions back business against carbon tax. Australian Financial Review, 9 February, p.1.

Also on this day-

2010 Malcolm Turnbull gives a blistering speech on floor of parliament while voting for Rudd’s CPRS


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