In a stunning reversal, the Australian Labor Party bails out on the 'carbon tax'

Australian Political Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has today stunned observers by reversing his position on a carbon tax – ruling out any future reinstatement of a carbon tax.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald;

“We will not have a carbon tax, the Australian people have spoken and Labor is not going to go back to that,” Mr Shorten told reporters in Sydney on Saturday.

Despite turning his back on a carbon tax, the Labor Opposition Leader continues to back the introduction of a “market based mechanism” for tackling “carbon pollution”.

One of the core platforms of the current Abbott government, which helped propel him to electoral victory last year, was the promised abolition of the deeply unpopular carbon tax.

Until recently, Labor advocated reinstating a carbon tax, pending the negotiation of a market based pricing mechanism, but they now appear to be backing away from carbon pricing, however tentatively – possibly due to the deep unpopularity of the carbon tax, and to internal pressure from their union supporters, some of whom are concerned about the impact of carbon pricing on jobs and pay.

Abbott’s Liberal National Coalition government, and Coalition state governments, have been keen to keep voters focussed on how much carbon pricing cost them in their daily lives, by passing well publicised cost reductions back to consumers.

h/t to Eric Worrall


109 thoughts on “In a stunning reversal, the Australian Labor Party bails out on the 'carbon tax'

      • not with Nigel Farage poaching his MPs.Scrap or suspend or amend the Climate Change Act Albatross around his neck.

    • Osbourne is not watching, but Nigel Farage certainly is. Please see the UKIP energy policy, which I have posted lower down this thread.
      And this policy may be a significant point in the next election. UKIP are the only Climate Realists in UK politics, at a time when public opinion is moving away from Climate Scaremongering. A scan of Daily Mail comments on climate, will reveal a deep skepticism – in the UK’s largest selling tabloid newspaper. (The UK has three classes of newspaper – broadsheets (quality), tabloids (semi-quality), and red-tops (tits and bums). )
      So UKIP is riding a wave of Climate Realism, with a policy they have had for years, with the next general election only months away. The other parties cannot change their Climate Scaremongering at such a late stage in the electoral cycle, so only UKIP will have a Climate Realism manifesto in the next election. Since the electorate is now fully aware of how renewable energy simply does not work, and are fully aware of the £-hundreds it is costing them every year in higher fuel bills and taxes, the UKIP’s Climate Realism energy policy could be a deciding factor at the next election.

  1. In a sea of stupidity and inanity, a glimmer of common sense from Oz. Could the Age of Stupid be crumbling? One desperately hopes so.

  2. ‘Bout time our DownUnder friends got up from under this foolishness, and leaving unsolved, problems that have been shown not to exist!!!

  3. “[…] possibly due to the deep unpopularity of the carbon tax, and to internal pressure from their union supporters, some of whom are concerned about the impact of carbon pricing on jobs and pay.”
    Aha! When the rank and file catch on, the jig is up. Our Overlord wannabees will have to find another way to pick our pockets.

  4. The day before the 2010 election Gillard, then our Labor Prime Minister said “there will be no carbon tax under a government I lead”, and five days after the election she announced that there would be.
    Now Shorten is saying “there will be no carbon tax under a government I lead”. Trust Labor? Sure, why not?

    • The ALP wil, and has, abandoned any principle no matter how dearly held for the opportunity to regain government.
      Another dearly held ALP principle as espoused by ex-minister Peter Garrett was “don’t worry, we’ll just change it after the election”

    • In the US, once the party returned to power, the words you would heár would be something like, “This is not a tax. It is a fee to be páid to the government for the cost of climate change caused by your emissions.” Then they would argue in front of the Supreme Court that it was a tax.

  5. My father was a union Democrat in the US, and his father was a Republican store owner. Both voted “their pocket book”. My dad explained to me early in life that people vote to further their own interests, and I countered that the voters seemed to vote against their own interest a lot or that they were pretty stupid. He countered that the voters would vote for what they perceive to be in their own best interests or that of their children — he pointed out that grandfather had voted for more money for education his whole life. He told me that the power elites had many channels by which to drown us in propaganda. (he really said lies and BS)
    At some point, the voters of Australia started punishing those politicians who were hurting their economic interests and that of their children and grandchildren. The reality overcame the propaganda. It is the government and its willing allies in the mainstream media that fool so many people with their constant and over-the-top propaganda. Sometimes the voters see through the propaganda, but it takes a lot for them to see reality.
    The idea that the industrial revolution was evil is somehow ingrained in the minds of many of the people who self-label themselves (in America at least) as “progressives” or “liberals” — and they instinctively believe anything that “proves” that mankind’s activities are “bad”.
    I was talking to a young “progressive” the other day and she believes in catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. When I asked her why, she did not have facts or figures — she said “because mankind is stupid and evil”. What does one say to that?

    • The Labor Party position on the carbon tax has been more than a little ambiguous, but they did introduce it, and they fought pretty hard to prevent Abbott abolishing it. So a statement they will never re-introduce it, because they believe the Australian people have rejected it, from a party which claims to be “of the people”, seems a little firmer than some of their previous positions.

      • Eric
        I’m certain that you know better than that !! “A little firmer” I presume means that it may not be as bigger lie as Gillard’s. I wouldn’t trust a poli if my life did not depend on it.

      • They have only changed the form. The Renewable Energy COmpanies are fighting hard though to keep their back door carbon tax. They are proposing that they will concede the Alumina companies do not have to pay the RET ( renewable energy tax). They speak as if they have the power to decide these things and do not rely heavily on tax paid subsidies. They have no bargaining position but like to use false analogies to make their position seem sound.
        Best thing Abbot government can do now is to rid the country of the renewable energy legislation.

      • It’s a fact. The WBCT will never return. And they will legislate for an ETS when they return. Sure, it will be a little lower than the WBCT, and they will spend the money on handouts to their voting base.

  6. That’s total rubbish. It’s been ALP policy to “terminate the carbon tax” since Kevin Rudd announced it before the Sept 2013 election. (Notwithstanding that they voted AGAINST their own policy in spite that Abbott666 wasn’t replacing it with an ETS.)
    Today’s announcement provides new information.

    • well seeing as KRudd was so concerned that carbon?climate was our biggest moral issue of all time..
      and he
      was going to be THE guy, the hero to save us all.
      which is why juLIAR ran the no carbon tav line till she got her bum on the seat.
      ha ha ha ha
      labors now sending me begging emails to fund them for 40$ of annoying phone calls
      to get elected
      even funnier is how they got my email
      i wrote to tell em how stupid they were and I was sick to death of their lies n bullshit
      they add me to their email friends list

      • No, the Silly Moaning is running it prominently. They have out the hated WBCT into the forgettery. It was ETS they always wanted, because that’s how al-Gore, Buffett and the other Oligarchs make their billions. WBCT was only ever a stepping stone to this “market-based mechanism” for delivering wealth to the oligarchs.

    • The Sydney Morning Herald is Fairfax Media – so it’s their journos and editorial staff who’ll be reeling.

    • Fairfax: The Anti Abbot Age and the Sydney Moaning Hamas, are shortly going to have to eat their words. It won’t be a pretty sight and they’ll dodge and duck and then come up with “I told you so.” Get the popcorn.

  7. Global warming/climate change scare tactics have flopped in Oz as Labor abandons the faithful. Thus the handwriting is on the wall. The intensification of the global cooling trend over the next decade or so will bury the true believers and the Greens under a heap of discredit. There will soon be a scramble worldwide as elected officials hasten to declare “Far be it from me to be a carbon taxer.” In a few years time, the last of the bird blenders will noisily clank to a halt.

  8. Let’s recalculate productivity levels by including the current doubling of electricity prices (in Australia). While we’re there let’s project what would happen to those figures if we banned cars over under 50mpg.

    • and most of that doubling?
      is the goldplated fees Labor allowed n funded tax breaks etc on!
      service fee for ONE mth, 33$
      my power use 55$
      its not the power you use as much as the total bullshit sneaked in service charges of near 395 a yr avg.
      we really need to pin the powercos to the walls and sort this out!

  9. I will be interested to see whether that great supporter of AGW, the New Zealand Herald, prints this excellent news. Also whether there is any sign that our recently re-elected prime Minister John Key understands the elementary science or continues to rely on the stupid advice proffered by his Chief Scientific Adviser who built his career in matters connected with child health! Once again, Australia leads Australasia!

  10. @markstoval: “Sometimes the voters see through the propaganda, but it takes a lot for them to see reality.”
    It can look like that, but I am not so dismissive of the majority, most of whom according to polls do not see CAGW as much of a problem. I think it just takes a very long time for politicians to hear what the ordinary voter is saying. Until an election makes their views obvious – and sometimes not even then – the politician is able to ignore them.
    “I was talking to a young “progressive” the other day and she believes in catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. When I asked her why, she did not have facts or figures — she said “because mankind is stupid and evil”. What does one say to that?”
    Given that, is she is typical, she probably exists in a echo-chamber of progressive, lefty discourse, I guess she is correctly speaking from the only personal experience she has.

    • “It can look like that, but I am not so dismissive of the majority, most of whom according to polls do not see CAGW as much of a problem.” ~ soarergtl
      You may have a point on the narrow issue of CAGW, but I was talking more generally. I blog mainly about political philosophy and could give dozens of examples to support my original contention, but that would be very off topic and might lead to “thread jacking”. I would not want to be on our host’s radar so I’ll leave that alone. (after all, I already am on record as believing that CO2 does no warming on net and have believed that since the 70s — but the puts me too close to that banned group for our host’s comfort)
      Let me give just one example of the propaganda that is rarely overcome. In my lifetime the USA has gone to war overseas on many, many occasions. Every time the public was told that we had to do so for our own safety. We were told that we are “a good people” and it was terrible that we had to go to war but the evil [insert name of your favorite bad-guy here] had to be stopped in the name of our “national security”. The truth is that in every case we were lied to and yet the people still buy the codswollop every time. It is like Charlie Brown and Lucy with that football.
      As a radical libertarian, it is easy for me to see the myths that the American left believe and easy to see the many myths that the American right believe. Sometimes the propaganda works so very well that you don’t know it exists at all.

      • Yes, but, you do know liberals lie. I’ve leaned lib-speak and what the guy said was “Just like gay marriage, gun control, wealth redistribution, and many others, we’re putting the whole think on the back burner to simmer a bit. But we’ll be back and win again on this.”
        It’s the Long March.

  11. This is really big news. Previous Prime minister of Labor Party (socialists) said it “was the greatest moral challenge of our time ”
    So now one of the central policies of the Labor Party has gone, good riddance.

  12. Flannery is no longer on the funding teat. The carbon tax has been abolished. Shorten finally read the opinion polls.
    From Flim Flam to Flip Flop

  13. @meltemian
    October 11, 2014 at 1:36 am
    Slowly, very slowly. There’s obviously never going to be a retraction of the AGW ‘theory’ but things do seem to be moving the right way….
    “Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.”
    ― Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

    • Or try this venerable old quote:
      I believe that good philosophers fly alone, like eagles, and not in flocks like starlings. It is true that because eagles are rare birds they are little seen and seldom heard, while birds that fly like starlings fill the sky with shrieks and cries, and wherever they settle befoul the Earth beneath them. The Assayer, by Galileo Galilei (1623)
      Climate Realists are eagles, while Mr Mann fouls the Earth…..

  14. in a few weeks, Gilliard will be in Philadelphia to appear in a speaker series. Any good ideas for a question from the audience would be appreciated. Rtpilot(one) at gmail.

  15. Shorten is trying his best to BS everyone. He knows that the public will not have a bar of a carbon tax, but he knows that the activists on the left of his own party (still a significant force in Labor which Shorten needs to placate) love the idea of national economic suicide. So he’s trying to lie to the voters but dog whistle to the loony left. We Australians need to keep reinforcing to our fellow citizens that he is really saying “there will be no carbon tax under a government I lead”. (Non-Aussies, that quote, which is in Australia a catchphrase for total mendacity, is explained in postings above.)

    • I can’t see Shorten leading the Labour party at the next election. Then again, there is a dearth of talent within the party so maybe he will. Such a giant fall from the governments of Hawke and Keating.

  16. And the UK’s UKIP party is pledged to do the same, should they hold the balance of power in next year’s general election. Ad do remember that UKIP poled 60% of the vote, at the last election to the UK’s Westminster parliament, just two days ago. A resounding victory never before seen in UK politics.
    Here is UKIP’s energy policy, which pours scorn from upon high, onto (nearly) all things renewable. It also backs Thorium power, and has a couple of cartoons by Josh in it:

  17. However in the same breath he said he will put a market based price on carbon – which is just another name for a carbon tax.

    • But the voters won’t hear it that way and Shorten knows it. As said in other posts, he’s trying to have things two ways – keeping in with the Greens, who are following what he says closely, and not falling out with the general public (who are bored stiff with the issue and no longer follow the fine tuning).

    • Not really.
      A carbon credit scheme is what Gore and all the real money want, anyway.
      They need a relatively safe place to park their money.
      They’ll make trillions world wide.
      Governments will make a bundle in taxes
      Wall Street and the Chicago Carbon Exchange are dying for it.
      It’ll make billionaires out of millionaires over night.
      Plus the UN gets trillions to feed their murderous dictators and keep the wars going.
      What’s not to like?

  18. Suppose there is a hung parliament again, with a couple of greens holding the balance of power. Back comes the carbon tax.

    • oh I doubt that,
      the greens are highly unlikely ever to get many seats after past actions.
      people have woken up

      • They hold one seat in the present parliament after they did exactly that. If they can hold an inner city seat from one capital city they can hold one from a second.
        I live where they vote for Clover Moore. I wouldn’t say many people have “woken up”.

    • As with Gillard, Labor have the Greens over a barrel. There was no reason for Gillard to give them a carbon tax, & she knew it. She wanted a carbon tax, & introduced it for her own reasons.
      The Greens have absolutely no where else but Labor to go. Just like the Democrats before them, voting with the Liberals would spell their death.
      Labor need some sort of AGW charge to keep the academics, & the bureaucracy, who do believe in it, on side. Without them, Labor is nothing, as they are the backbone of the unions & lefties.
      Anyone who believes Labor are on the workers/little people’s side is a bloody idiot, as the drink driving add told us.

      • Spot on, Has been, Gillard was warm to the idea without any need for the Greens to prompt her. But it gave her a convenient escape route to spin the line ‘ that she had to govern with the greens support’, even though, as you point out, the Greens will never vote with the coalition on any major issue. After politics she continues to spin her lies – and she has history in this regard with her odious involvement in setting up an illegal union slush fund with her former union boyfriend. Wouldn’t know truth if she fell over it.

  19. It’s really simple. If someone leaning (veering, tilting, running) left tells you they’re done with the whole Carbon Tax thing, they’re lying. Check around and find out what they’re actually doing while drawing your attention elsewhere.
    Taxing air has been a fantasy ever since there have been taxes, and elevated to Holy Grail status by the Beatles – Revolver – Side 1 Track 1.

  20. So now we know the carbon tax is dead in Australia.
    However the carbon trading idea still lives. Carbon trading is worse than a carbon tax.
    Soon we’ll see the rise of the Australian carbon market, just watch.

  21. Good for Australia, good for the world. Pushing back against climate hysteria and climate kooks is the way forward.

  22. Lifted today, directly from the Liberal Party (current government) of Australia’s website …
    “Cleaning up our own environment
    “We will take direct action to reduce carbon emissions – and establish a 15,000-strong Green Army charged with the clean-up and conservation of our environment – so that we can all enjoy a cleaner environment and a more sustainable future without the impost of the carbon tax which is causing real economic damage to our economy and affecting the living standards of Australian families.
    “Reducing carbon emissions inside Australia, not overseas
    “We will take direct action to reduce carbon emissions in a practical, affordable way inside Australia, not overseas. We remain committed to a five per cent reduction in emissions by 2020.
    “We will establish an Emissions Reduction Fund of $3 billion to allocate money in response to emission reduction tenders to projects designed to reduce carbon emissions.
    “All money spent will be on Australian green projects, not foreign carbon credits, keeping more jobs in Australia.
    “We will support projects such as the exploration of soil carbon technologies and abatement, putting carbon back in soils and providing for a once in a generation replenishment of our farmlands.”
    Yep! … sure looks like the exact opposite of a carbon tax. This mob recognises that there’s nothing wrong with carbon …??

    • “15,000-strong Green Army charged with the clean-up and conservation of our environment -”
      “We will establish an Emissions Reduction Fund of $3 billion…”
      $3,000,000,000 for 15,000 people is $200,000 per person…Can I have a job?

  23. Fool me once; shame on you. Fool me twice; shame on me. What was it that the last Labour Prime Minister said just before her election?

  24. The real test as to the burying of the carbon tax and related schemes, will be how the Greens fare in the Victorian state election this year. If they are wiped out as they were in the Tasmanian elections that will send a strong message that the voting public see the green propaganda for what it is, destructive and divisive..
    There is a lot of pressure on to get young voters registered in the hope that they will supply a more progressive response, but has the no warming pause finally sunk in with that age of voter who have gone through the school system with teachers urging them to question and challenge conservative social values and to demand everything as an entitlement owed to them.
    Are they a me generation, but with no concept yet of any social responsibility to work and contribute? The greens will be thundering the usual meme asking them to save the world – will it work, possibly in the short term, maybe not.

  25. Despite turning his back on a carbon tax, the Labor Opposition Leader continues to back the introduction of a “market based mechanism” for tackling “carbon pollution”.

    Mr. Shorten, you cannot rename taxes and command economies as “market” solutions. A market is a natural thing. It takes place when “buyer” and “seller” voluntarily agree to exchange goods and or services to the mutual benefit of both. When your government regulates and mandates, there IS NO MARKET, there’s only the law and the coercive police powers of government, and the either compliant or non-compliant citizen, who faces the tax collector, fines and jail, if they don’t pay. Without stretching the point too far, I ask you think about the poor dumb-ass Venezuelans who voted for Hugo Chavez and now have no toilet paper because their government thinks it can run an economy.

  26. Getting the youth to understand this hoax will not be easy. They teach the UN’s ‘Learning for Sustainability’ here and all the kiddies are thoroughly indoctrinated. I actually wrote to the Minister for Education requesting that they eliminate it and received a very confused reply back from them.
    No thinking person in Australia would believe Shorten for a second.

  27. Here in the US, democrats are quite nervous about what will happen in California once their carbon taxes really start ratcheting up in the coming years.
    – How much longer can Dems deny their tax and spend ways really are sending businesses fleeing?
    A: once the unions realize their jobs are disappearing faster than they can steal from taxpayers, they will pull the leash on their Democrat dogs, who will bite the environmentalists. The eco-greenies in Sacramento only think they have political clout. They only have as much as is convenient to Cal’s unions.

  28. Labor against a carbon tax – nothing new there. That was their position in 2000-2010 and now again in 2014.

  29. Step by little step, a clear weakening of position is emerging. Canada are out, as now is Australia. China, India, Brazil and Russia were never in. America has a daft President and EPA but even they’re struggling to get meaningful policy into law.
    Only the EU is in hook, line and sinker, yet Germany is realising its green folly, the UK public is wide awake to the nonsense and a high-ranking EU environment bod’ recently said it wouldn’t make sense for Europe to go it alone. Nothing binding (of consequence will be signed at Paris 2015.
    Be aware this is moving about as fast as it will ever go until the dam really does burst. Existing politicians have too much face to lose by reneging on ‘Green’. My bet is salvation will come from a politician or party that hasn’t been involved in policy these last 10 years or so.
    They will claim all current policies ‘are nothing to do with us’, and that will trigger a wholesale collapse in AGW policy. It’s coming.

    • Precisely, Alex
      The ALP still want a “Price on Carbon”, just not as a direct carbon tax.
      Probably as a trading scheme of some sort…. but still .. essentially a tax.
      Shorten is not fooling anyone, except those who want to be fooled.

  30. The Liberal Party is giving a lot of lip service but so far, best as I can tell, the carbon tax has not been repealed. The carbon tax appears to have been pushed into the future.

  31. They’d lie to their own mother. Nothing Labor says is worth spit.
    Tell me again; how many times did they back stab their the party leader last time they were in power?

  32. With the abolition of the carbon tax most folk appreciate a small reduction in their electricity bill. and it would be extremely foolish electorally to try and install some carbon pricing scheme. Both Mr. Shorten and the Greens leader Ms. Milne are on the public record as believing in climate change (global warming). I would like to know what they would do as there isn’t a valid correlation between warming and levels of carbon dioxide, and I don’t think that humans can influence solar activity.

  33. The Australian news seems a reason to be cautiously confident that there is a self-correction against the theory of global warming in the parts of society critical of climate focused sciences.
    It surprises me in the 21st century that there are still political parties who have the word ‘labor’ in their title? Why would any political party have ‘labor’ in its title unless it views the world darkly through the feeble intellectual eyes of Marx & Engels?

    • Why include the word “Labor”?
      To hide the fact that they are applying the teachings of Marx and Engels.
      Note the spelling of “Labor”. The American spelling, adopted by the Australian Labor Party in 1890, when the Americans were the heroes and the ruling Brits the villains. Post WW11 the Americans became the villains, as they prevented the military march of Communism from taking over the world, while the great British universities handed most of the Western world’s classified information over to the USSR.
      In Australia today, the Marxists have come very close to gaining control, through having been allowed too much influence in our education system. It appears that the same might apply in the US. A very large part of the electorate is programmed to accept lies such as the global warming scam.

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