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Queensland Labor plays its last card

When politicians are reduced to appealing to the electorate for a sympathy vote to stop the other lot winning by too much then desperation has well and truly set in.

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Playing the last card. When politicians are reduced to appealing to the electorate for a sympathy vote to stop the other lot winning by too much then desperation has well and truly set in. Such is Labor’s lot in Queensland.

Anna Bligh at the weekend declared that her job for the final week of campaigning was to “get out there and hang on to as many seats as we possibly can.” Referring to the 60 LNP/40 ALP split predicted by Galaxy, the Premier said “if this poll was replicated, then we would see an LNP government with more power than any government in Queensland’s history and more power than Sir Joh Bjelke Petersen.

What she should have added but didn’t is that concentrating on trying to blacken the name of LNP leader Campbell Newman has been a spectacular failure. Federal Labor, with its obsession of pretending that Tony Abbott is some kind of ogre, should take note.

In the face of the evidence of the opinion pollsters it is somewhat surprising then that the first batch of entrants in our Crikey tipping contests have gone almost 68% against Campbell Newman winning his seat of Ashgrove. Presumably this week those who have waited before entering will have a different view because the bookmakers now are offering $3.60 for a $1 about Kate Jones hanging on to her seat.

To enter our Crikey tipping contest, click on the links below. There are free subscriptions to our daily email to be won.

Another carbon tax. Australia will soon not be alone in the southern hemisphere in having a carbon tax. The South African confirmed in its budget late in February that it will legislate for one by year’s end.

The SA budget papers, in arguing that a carbon tax would contribute to the global response to mitigate climate change, said a modest carbon tax would begin to price carbon dioxide emissions so that the external costs resulting from such emissions started to be incorporated into production costs and consumer prices.

This will also create incentives for changes in behaviour and encourage the uptake of cleaner-energy technologies, energy-efficiency measures, and research and development of low-carbon options.

Proposed design of carbon emissions tax to help mitigate global climate change Following public consultation, government has revised its concept design for a carbon tax, and a draft policy paper will be published for comment in 2012. The proposed design features include:

  • Percentage-based rather than absolute emissions thresholds, below which the tax will not be payable.
  • A higher tax-free threshold for process emission, with consideration given to the limitations of the cement, iron and steel, aluminium and glass sectors to mitigate emissions over the near term.
  • Additional relief for trade-exposed sectors.
  • The use of offsets by companies to reduce their carbon tax liability.
  • Phased implementation.

The Treasury document said the tax will apply to carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions calculated using agreed methods. A basic tax-free threshold of 60 per cent (with additional concession for process emissions and for trade-exposed sectors) and maximum offset percentages of 5 or 10 per cent until 2019/20 is proposed. Additional relief will be considered for firms that reduce their carbon intensity during this first phase.

A carbon tax at R120 ($A14.92) per ton of CO2e above the suggested thresholds is proposed to take effect during 2013/14, with annual increases of 10 per cent until 2019/20.

Some news and views noted along the way:

Richard Farmer —

Richard Farmer

Crikey political commentator

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