O'Farrell fails to protect businesses participating in NSW greenhouse gas reduction scheme


The O'Farrell Government's refusal to negotiate with the Commonwealth on transitional arrangements for the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Scheme (GGAS) will leave some businesses worse off, Shadow Energy Minister, Luke Foley said today.

NSW legislation states that the GGAS will terminate once a national scheme of 'similar outcomes' is implemented, and therefore it will close on July 1 when the carbon pricing scheme commences.

"The O'Farrell Government has been so busy playing politics with climate change that they have mishandled the State's own programs to reduce emissions and disadvantaged NSW businesses," Mr Foley said today.

"I quizzed the Energy Minister Chris Hartcher about this more than five months ago during Budget Estimates hearings, and he assured us that the O'Farrell Government would negotiate with the Commonwealth on transitional arrangements.

"Now, we find out that the O'Farrell Government has failed to negotiate seriously with the Commonwealth about transitional arrangements for NSW businesses currently in the GGAS.

"The Federal Government has sought to work with the NSW Government on transitional arrangements for GGAS participants – but Premier O'Farrell has failed to protect the interests of NSW businesses investing in clean energy.

"This means some businesses involved with the GGAS could be left worse off under the O'Farrell Government.

"When it comes to carbon pollution, Barry O'Farrell wants to have it both ways.

"Day in and day out, the Premier and his Ministers have run deceitful and hysterical scare campaigns against action on climate change.

"Yet at the same time they close down NSW clean energy programs on the basis the Commonwealth is taking care of carbon pollution reduction, they fail to protect the interests of NSW businesses investing in clean energy.

"The Carr Labor Government's GGAS scheme, which works by requiring NSW electricity suppliers to meet targets for reducing or offsetting their emissions, has led the world in emission reduction schemes.

"The GGAS was the world's first carbon trading scheme and has saved or offset 141 million tonnes of carbon pollution."