The Federal Government’s decisions to scrap the $800 million Green Car Innovation Fund and lob Australia with a carbon tax mid-2012 might back-fire this weekend, with unions and industry groups outraged at being passed-over.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s promise last August that she would not lump a carbon tax on Australia was short-lived, causing industry voters to re-think their preferences.
Gillard changed her mind last week and announced a carbon tax would begin mid-2012 for three to five years, after which an emissions trading scheme would replace it.
Industry has been outraged, with protestors at a carbon tax rally yesterday calling Gillard a ‘liar’ and a ‘bitch’.
NSW Coalition leader Barry O’Farrell has warned Labor’s Kristina Keneally that the federal government’s planned carbon tax will kill Labor seats in NSW at Saturday’s election.
"Families, businesses, have been let down," he told Smh.com.au reporters while visiting a OneSteel manufacturing plant in Western Sydney.
According to O’Farrell, a carbon tax will cause factory closures and job losses in manufacturing.
"A carbon tax will lead to higher power bills, but a carbon tax will also threaten jobs, whether your company is selling into the Australian market against imports, or whether it is trying to sell overseas against countries that don’t have a carbon tax," he told Smh.com.au
O’Farrell has used the industry’s anger at Gillard as a strategy to claim NSW votes this weekend.
Gillard’s about-face comes as a major sting for industry, after she promised last month that she would ‘guarantee the future of car manufacturing in Australia‘.
Innovation Minister Kim Carr and Gillard met with senior industry figures last month to plan for the future of car manufacturing in Australia.
According to Senator Carr, Tony Abbott and the Liberal party had ‘targeted car manufacturing’ by proposing to take $500 million from the Automotive Transformation Scheme.
Image courtesy of Smh.com.au
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