Thursday, 24 June 2010

Labor must seize new climate change opportunity, say Greens

Newcastle Greens
24 June 2010

Today’s change in leadership gives the federal Labor government a new opportunity to take real action on climate change before the federal election, according to the Greens federal candidate for Newcastle, Michael Osborne.

“The political rot set in for Mr Rudd at the time he turned his back on what he called the great moral challenge of his generation,” Mr Osborne said.

“The crucial early test of Ms Gillard’s leadership will be how she seizes this new opportunity to respond to the challenge of climate change.

“I know that many voters in Newcastle were disillusioned with Kevin Rudd’s failure to take real action on climate change, and will be looking to Ms Gillard to pick up the pieces, and to work with The Greens to develop an effective national scheme to limit carbon emissions.

“Today’s change in leadership gives Labor just one last chance before the federal election to do this,” Mr Osborne said.

“Before the next federal election, Ms Gillard needs to announce a clear, science-based strategy based on rigorous but achievable emission reduction targets and economic restructuring packages that will help Australia and the Hunter Valley move away coal dependence and toward a more ecologically sustainable economy.”

“Federal Labor also needs to stand firm on the proposed super-profits tax on public owned non-renewable resources, which can help ensure that the Australian community gets a fairer share from the one-off use of these public assets.

“The super-profits tax is sound policy, and should be used to provide valuable public infrastructure and funding for economic restructuring in mining-affected regional economies, such as the Hunter,” Mr Osborne said.

“The super-profits tax offers the opportunity to create jobs through an investment in a sustainable future, and Labor needs to carry through with it, and not bow yet again to the pressure of large vested interests, many of whom donate to the Labor Party,” Mr Osborne said.

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