Bob Carr, premier of New South Wales since 1995, had been keen to get something done on climate change (and has continued to be keen). This below is from 2002 Greenhouse Gas Update by Stewart Smith]
In June this year  the Premier took to the Council of Australian Governments meeting a proposal for compulsory national greenhouse targets to apply to the electricity retailer sector. The Premier stated:
The proposal would work as follows. We would set a per capita greenhouse emission reduction target of 5 per cent for electricity retailers on 1989-90 levels. This would be done through compulsory benchmarks and it would be phased in by 2005-2006, to allow electricity retailers time to adjust. Penalties would be imposed on electricity retailers who fail to meet annual targets. Retailers would avoid payment of penalties by supporting the development of low-cost greenhouse abatement projects such as plantation-based carbon credits, faster up-take of natural gas fired power generation and renewable energy. A market to trade emission reduction certificates would be created in Sydney. This market would provide the platform for trading other environmental service products like carbon sequestration credits, salinity credits, and eventually biodiversity credits…it is important that this be advanced on a uniform national basis.51
NSW Parliamentary Debates, Legislative Assembly Hansard 7 June 2001, p 14,683.
52 Council of Australian Governments, Communique, 8 June 2001. See the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet website, URL: http://www.dpmc.gov.au/docs\coag080601.cfm
Also on this day –
McLachlan, C. 1989. Hot chances for coping with greenhouse effect. Australian Financial Review, 7 June.
For all the worry that the greenhouse effect is causing around the world there is, perhaps, a bright side. The greenhouse effect has opened up a number of potentially profitable opportunities for industry. It has created a number of niche markets for environmentally safe products or new strands of vegetable. The South Australian Government has already taken steps to help industry identify these new niche markets. It has established a council to examine the implications of the greenhouse effect and the depletion of the ozone layer on the future direction of industry, agriculture and the economy of the State.
Anon. 1990. Trans tasman think tank backed by big business. New Zealand Herald, 8 June p.5.
A privately funded economic think tank and joint venture between Australia and New Zealand called the Tasman Institute was launched in Melbourne yesterday.
2007– “When the Bill was finally reconsidered in July 2007, the SA Government proposed an alternative interim target of a return to 190 levels by 2020, the same target as adopted in the Californian legislation. However, in the meantime, the Liberal Opposition had changed its position and declined to continue to support the 20 per cent reduction target it had previously proposed. It was joined by the other minority parties in the Legislative Council in a vote against the government’s proposed alternative target, with the result that the Bill was ultimately passed without any interim target having been included. The government has indicated that it will consider the option of introducing its interim target by regulations under the Act at a future point.
The end result of this protracted exercise is highly unsatisfactory in that no interim target was able to be agreed. The substantial and sudden change of stance by the [State] Liberal Opposition was attributed by some sources from the Howard Government to come into line with the policy position of opposing any interim target.”
(Fowler, 2007: 115)
Henderson, N. 2007. Libs told to “toe PM’s line.” Adelaide Advertiser, 7 June.