Thursday, March 15, 2012


Five current articles below

Typical Greenie arrogance

The "Green" mayor of Sydney wants to get most cars out of the city and says people should cycle instead. But she herself gets around in a chauffeur-driven car -- for trips that could easily be made by bike. She apparently wants to get most cars out of Sydney so her car is not held up by traffic jams

BICYCLE-mad Lord Mayor Clover Moore has been using a council car and driver to take her to parliament - in what appears to be a bending of council rules.

Ms Moore came close to tears yesterday as she said she would be forced to resign from parliament after 24 years because Premier Barry O'Farrell wants to ban councillors from being MPs.

But a classic conflict in Ms Moore's two jobs can be revealed, with Ms Moore's driver regularly taking her - or her bags - to and from parliament on sitting days in a black council Prius.

Yesterday the driver picked her up from a coffee shop, took her to a press conference at the Botanic Gardens and then drove her to parliament.

A spokesman for Ms Moore said she was not breaching council rules and her "daily program while parliament was sitting routinely included appointments related to her duties at the City of Sydney.


Electric cars would stress power grid

ELECTRIC cars plugged into suburban homes would create a risk of causing blackouts by increasing peak demand, the State Government predicts.

The State Government and advocates of the vehicles want owners encouraged to charge the batteries at off-peak times to cause less stress on the system.

Minister for Energy Tom Koutsantonis said the issue needed to be managed like any burden on the electricity grid, such as the uptake of airconditioners.

"Electric cars are a fantastic way to reduce carbon emissions but we need to make sure we manage the way people recharge them," he said.

"We don't want the entire state to plug their cars in at times of peak demand, we want to manage this so that they are plugged in when demand is low."

The Federal Government is currently investigating how an influx of vehicles - predicted to be 20 per cent of all car sales by 2020 and 44 per cent by 2030 - will impact on the electricity grid.

In a written submission to an Australian Energy Market Commission inquiry, the state Department of Manufacturing has warned: "Increased load caused by the charging of electric vehicles could potentially exacerbate peak demand issues currently experienced in South Australia during summer months".

Electric car enthusiast, Adelaide Lord Mayor Steven Yarwood has studied the issue as part of the Adelaide City Council's use of a fully electric Mitsubishi i-Miev car. Mr Yarwood said the cars were similar to the introduction of the internet when people were uncertain how it would operate.

"There are two ways of looking at it and that is in the short term there will be a challenge for the grid and how Governments deal with that but in the long term there is an enormous capacity for the cars to be charged at night time (after people drive home) without any impact on the grid at all," he said.


Tony Abbott backs Clive Palmer on High Court carbon tax challenge

TONY Abbott has backed Clive Palmer's bid to challenge the carbon tax in the High Court.

Queensland's richest man and LNP donor has threatened to mount a legal challenge to the proposed tax before. He now says he has legal advice suggesting the tax is unconstitutional and he could win a challenge against it.

Mr Abbott today backed the challenge and said state governments should also test the tax in court. "I certainly think that there are some constitutional issues," Mr Abbott said. "Normally the Commonwealth can't tax the states, for instance and this is going to be a tax that's paid by state governments."

Mr Palmer said he had legal advice that showed the carbon tax was unconstitutional, but did not provide any more detail. "The grounds are set out in legal advice and they'll be coming out in the High Court," he told ABC TV.

But Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said the government had advice that the measures were legally sound. "The legislation relies on a number of powers under the constitution," he said.

Mr Combet said Mr Palmer would be wasting his money on the case. "I think this is another foray by Mr Palmer who's got more money than sense really," Mr Combet said. "He seems to be exercising all of the wealth that he's acquired out of the resources boom and elsewhere just to pay lawyers."


Carbon tax may cost 1500 jobs in South Australia

TREASURY Department modelling shows the carbon tax will cost the state up to 1500 jobs next year, the State Opposition says.

Liberal leader Isobel Redmond says the estimate is based on modelling the Opposition obtained through freedom of information.

"The impact of this insidious tax on the SA job market will have the effect of negating 75 per cent of the jobs created by the proposed Olympic Dam expansion in the next year," Ms Redmond said.

The Opposition asked a series of questions about the carbon tax in Parliament yesterday.

At one stage Employment Minister Tom Kenyon said he was not aware of any modelling on the impact of the carbon tax on employment.

Soon after, Ms Redmond used details from the Treasury Department modelling to ask Premier Jay Weatherill why he had supported the carbon tax when the Government's own figures showed the tax would cost 1500 jobs once implemented.

Mr Weatherill said the reason Labor supported putting a price on carbon was "because we want a future for our children". "The short-term costs associated with the implementation of a price on carbon will be nothing like the burden of adjustment that will fall upon this state," he said.

Mr Weatherill said what was most damaging for business was the lack of certainty about the future of a price on carbon. "So when a Commonwealth Government accepts its responsibilities and ... does something - which is to put a price on carbon - that is a massive political challenge."

Outside Parliament, Opposition treasury spokesman Iain Evans said it was obvious that the Employment Minister and the Treasurer, Jack Snelling, were not talking to each other.

"Mr Kenyon said he was not aware of any modelling on the carbon tax yet the Opposition has obtained documents from Treasury which show modelling has been done," he said. The carbon tax takes effect on July 1.


Australia should stay open to nuclear says likely new Labor Party leader

FOREIGN Minister Bob Carr says Australia should stay open to nuclear technology, despite Japan's recent nuclear disaster.

Senator Carr, a proponent of nuclear technology, said the push towards nuclear energy was hampered by last year's tsunami and earthquake disaster in Japan, which caused the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl.

"I think Japan has set it back because of the impact it's had on insurance and cost," he told ABC Television today.

However, he said Australia should still consider moving towards nuclear energy.

"The fact is, some of the renewables are taking off more slowly than I, as a believer in climate change, would have liked."


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