Federal Minister for Regional Development, MP Simon Crean, promotes the carbon tax package in Rockhampton yesterday.
Federal Minister for Regional Development, MP Simon Crean, promotes the carbon tax package in Rockhampton yesterday. Sharyn Oneill

Crean sells carbon tax to crowd

AS FEDERAL Cabinet Minister Simon Crean put the hard sell of the carbon tax to a crowd at the Rockhampton League's Club yesterday, across town, the Queensland Resources Council espoused the damage it would do.

The Minister for Regional Development, Mr Crean addressed a business forum while the QRC's chief economist, David Rynne, spoke to an agriculture and resource conference.

Mr Crean cited the planned purchase by Xstrata of Meteor Downs Station on the Central Highlands as one reason why the carbon price would not affect the coal industry in Central Queensland.

But Mr Rynne told the regional ABARES conference new projects would be affected.

On a whirlwind trip around the nation, Mr Crean visited Mackay and Gladstone last week, and dropped in to Rockhampton briefly, before catching a plane to Port Hedland to continue promoting the government's carbon price and associated funds.

He said more than $27 billion would be spent on a host of initiatives designed to encourage use of renewable technologies, promote carbon farming, compensate mining companies and provide incentives for cultural change.

But, despite discussing a planned $9.2 billion Jobs and Compensation package, Mr Crean could not give any details on how the fund would be used to protect jobs in the mining industry.

He also confirmed the Federal Government would not force coal producers to change, relying on the carbon tax and incentives as opposed to regulatory approaches for industrial change.

Mr Crean said he appreciated the irony that a Labor Government was promoting a market mechanism, traditionally a backbone of Liberal philosophy.

Earlier this week, QRC chief executive Michael Roche told a Senate Committee hearing in Brisbane that 13,000 jobs could be lost as a result of the carbon price.

Member for Capricornia Kirsten Livermore also told the forum that the Government would be sending extension officers to farmers and cattle producers to help explain the carbon farming initiative. 

 

CARBON PACKAGE

More than $27 billion in incentives for change

Tax cuts for low income earners

The challenges:

Up to $1 billion in lost coal royalties for Queensland

Up to 13,000 jobs lost in Queensland



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