Australia's clean energy future
Joint media release
Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer,
Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Minister
for Families, Community Services and Indigenous
1 July 2012
The Gillard Government has achieved a major milestone in its
plan for Australia's clean energy future with today being
the first day major greenhouse gas emitters will be required
to pay for their pollution.
The carbon price which starts today means that in the year
2020, Australia's carbon pollution will be at least 159
million tonnes less per annum than it would be without this
policy -the equivalent of taking 45 million cars off the
To help families with the costs that some businesses will
pass on to them, a new round of tax cuts are also starting
today, including trebling the tax-free threshold from $6000
Today we take the next steps the country needs to make to
keep our economy competitive, to protect our environment and
to provide a cleaner Australia for future generations.
The scientific advice is that the planet is warming and it is
imperative that we cut greenhouse gas emissions. The economic
advice is that a carbon price is the cheapest and most
efficient way to reduce carbon pollution.
A carbon price will create incentives for large emitters to
reduce carbon pollution.
It will start transforming our economy to clean energy
sources like solar, wind, geothermal and natural gas.
More than half the revenue raised will help households with
the modest cost of living impacts through tax cuts, higher
family payments and increases in pensions and other benefits
Lump sum household assistance payments have already been paid
and these will be followed by increases in regular payments
of family payments, pensions, and other Government allowances
and benefits from next year.
Tax cuts will start flowing into the pay packets of working
Australians from today.
In addition to helping people with the cost of living, the
Government is reforming the tax system by trebling the
tax-free threshold from $6000 to $18,200 in 2012-13.
The Government is also supporting jobs and competitiveness in
industries with high emissions and strong international
The most emissions-intensive and trade-exposed industry
activities are shielded from 94.5 per cent of the carbon
price - meaning their effective carbon price is less than
$1.30 a tonne.
This will preserve international competitiveness while
maintaining incentives to invest in cleaner technologies.
A carbon price is a responsible economic reform.
Treasury modelling shows the economy will continue to grow
with a carbon price in place - 1.6 million new jobs will be
created to 2020 and new industries in clean technology and
renewable energy will be created.
Today also marks the commencement of the Climate Change
Authority and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.
The Climate Change Authority will make recommendations on
pollution caps to apply when the carbon price moves to a
flexible priced emissions trading scheme in 2015.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will provide
grants and financial assistance for projects with a focus on
renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies to make
them more cost competitive.
ARENA will administer $3.2 billion in existing Government
support for research and development, demonstration and
commercialisation of renewable energy technologies.
Further information about the Gillard Government's Clean
Energy Future plan is available at www.cleanenergyfuture.gov.au
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