According to the Australian opposition, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has done a stunning backflip and lied, by announcing there will be a price on carbon, after prominently making an election promise that there will never be a price on carbon.
The scheme details were announced last week by Gillard, and will be rolled out from July 2012. She also announced that the scheme provide a fixed price on carbon for a period of 3 to 5 years, before moving to a cap and trade system.
In a joint press conference with Greens leader Bob Brown, Gillard commented:
I’m determined to price carbon, history teaches us that the countries and the economies who prosper at times of historic change are those who get in and shape and manage the changes. The time is right and the time is now. There are some people that will say we can’t afford to move to a clean energy future, I disagree with that, we can’t afford not to move to a clean energy future.
It is expected that more details of the scheme will be announced later. It has however not pleased the coalition, with leader Tony Abbot and deputy Julie Bishop calling the backflip a broken promise to the Australian people.
This represents a fundamental breach of an election promise that the Prime Minister gave solemnly to the Australian people on the eve of the last election, she said there would be no carbon price, no carbon tax under any government that she led. She has broken the trust the Australian people put in her at the last election. It’s another example of the Labor Party being in government, but the Greens being in power.