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NZ should follow Australia by exempting motor fuels from ETS

The New Zealand
Climate Science Coalition

3 July 2011 For immediate release

NZ should follow Australia by exempting motor fuels from ETS

The New Zealand government now has a precedent for immediately exempting motor fuels from emissions trading scheme (ETS) tax charges, following the announcement today by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard that her government’s proposed carbon tax will not be applied to motor fuels.

“When ETS was being mooted by the present government, we were promised by our Prime Minister, John Key, that New Zealand would not lead the world, but that we would be fast followers,” says Terry Dunleavy, secretary of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition. “Well, here’s his chance to be a fast follower of his new friend Julia Gillard who has ruled out now and for the future, her proposed tax on emissions of carbon dioxide as they would have applied to motor fuels. Ms Gillard has said categorically that the tax would never be applied to petrol despite transport being Australia's third-largest and fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas emissions. This will leave New Zealand as the only country in the world to apply an emissions tax to motor fuels, “said Mr Dunleavy.

The Australian Prime Minister told a Melbourne newspaper: “For the many, many Australians who drive long distances, maybe to work, maybe driving their kids on the weekend or going on holidays with the family, this will be a big help. This means that families, tradies and small businesses won't pay a cent more at the petrol pump because of the carbon price."

Mr Dunleavy said that Ms Gillard has been forced into this position because of increasingly widespread opposition to her announced intention to bring in a so-called carbon tax despite having promised not to do so prior to the re-election of her Labor Government.

“Australia has another couple of years for the argument about so-called carbon tax to play out. But our Prime Minister has less than five months before facing the electorate here, and the sooner he realises the unnecessarily added cost on the many, many New Zealanders also who have to drive long distances to work or go on holiday with their families, the sooner he will move to place us on the same footing as our counterparts across the Tasman, “ Mr Dunleavy concluded.

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