Friday, December 06, 2019

New carbon dividend proposal gets community support

You can get any result you want out of a survey.  I would critique it in detail but details of the survey seem not to be available.  I asked Mr Snell for details but got none. It's possible that a normal scientific research report was not at any time generated.  It would therefore be unwise to place any weight on the "findings" below
A majority of Australians support the introduction of a tax on companies that produce carbon to encourage a reduction in emissions.

And almost 85 per cent of people believe Australia needs a clear policy that addresses carbon emissions and ensures energy supply is reliable and affordable.

These findings from a new UNSW Sydney community survey explores attitudes to an economically modelled policy proposal for a market-based approach to reducing emissions through a company emitter tax that is redistributed progressively to Australian households.

The proposed Australian Carbon Dividend Plan would tax carbon dioxide at $50 per metric ton (MT) at the source, such as a mine or well or port, with the revenue generated returned to every voting-age Australian at an estimated $1,300 a year each.

While designed to use the tax to encourage companies to reduce their emissions, the plan shows any price rises would be more than offset to consumers with three quarters of voting-age Australians to be financially better off. Those on the lowest incomes benefit the most.

UNSW Sydney Professors Rosalind Dixon and Richard Holden today release an update to their Australian Carbon Dividend Plan as well as the results of a community attitudes survey which finds that two of every three Australians believe climate change is the biggest challenge facing the world today.

“A carbon dividend is strongly supported by Australians which should be great news to our political leaders who could adopt this model to help our country address one of the greatest and most pressing moral challenges of our time, climate change,” Professor Holden said.

“Australia, like many other countries, is committed to the Paris Agreement goal of keeping the rise of the globe’s temperature below 2 degrees and to cut emissions by 26-28 per cent by 2030, but to date no policy has used a market-based approach to reduce emissions while providing a practical and progressive means of compensating Australian households.”

The Australian Carbon Dividend Plan represents an economically and politically effective climate-change policy and has the support from a majority of Australians aged over 18.

The survey also finds 63 per cent of people say the Government is not doing enough to lower carbon emissions to address climate change.

While support is just about even for both the Coalition’s and ALP’s currently known climate change policies, the support for a carbon tax and dividend model remains high but varies depending on how it is described.

When asked if they support a tax on companies that produce carbon specifically to encourage a reduction in emissions, 65 per cent agree. That support rises to over 73 per cent if it is explained the tax is redistributed to taxpayers and is designed to lower emissions and encourage investment into technology to achieve this.

But the support goes down to 52 per cent when the proposition only mentions the redistribution to taxpayers and does not mention the environmental benefits and market changes.

“The case for our federal government to do more to reduce emissions is clear from these new survey results but now there is also strong community support for a new type of tax on companies that produce emissions if funds raised go back to taxpayers and the policy achieves reduced emissions,” Professor Holden said.

“This really is a win-win. It seems there is a widening gap politically about how to address emissions. While a type of carbon tax nearly became law in Australia under the then Prime Minister Gillard in 2011, it is clear the time is right to now introduce a progressive emissions tax and dividend model to help Australia take a leadership position on what most people in our survey say is the biggest challenge facing the world today.”

Note:  The community survey was of 1,636 people nationally on 19 November 2019 by uCommunications Pty Ltd. Telephone numbers and the person within the household were selected at random. The results have been weighted by gender and age to reflect the population according to ABS figures.

Contact: Stuart Snell, UNSW External Communications Consultant, 0416 650 906

Izzy vindicated

And a costly lesson for the Christianity-haters

Israel Folau reportedly received an $8million payout from Rugby Australia to end the bitter legal stoush over his controversial sacking.

An out-of-court settlement was made on Wednesday as RA apologised to the former Wallabies fullback in a humiliating backdown to spare the sporting body a lengthy court battle.

Folau was seeking $14million in compensation after he had his Wallabies contract torn up for writing 'hell awaits' gay people in an Instagram post in April.

The Daily Telegraph reported Folau agreed to an $8million settlement - but Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle said this was 'wildly inaccurate'. 

Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle told stakeholders the details of the settlement were confidential.

'The terms of the settlement are confidential but importantly Israel's legal claim has been withdrawn and whilst we were very confident in our legal position, this outcome provides certainty for Rugby Australia and allows us to avoid incurring ongoing legal costs and the risks and distractions of a lengthy trial,' she said. 

RA said it did not support Folau's controversial post, but 'acknowledges and apologises for any hurt or harm caused to the Folaus after his sacking.

The cross-code footballer and his wife Maria said the family had been 'vindicated' by Wednesday's settlement.

'We are extremely pleased with the settlement reached today,' Folau said in a video shared to his official accounts. 'Maria and I would like to thank God for his guidance and strength,' he said.

'Thank you to our supporters for their thoughts and prayers, in particular our families, our congregation as well as Martyn Iles and the Australian Christian Lobby.'

Folau didn't announce any plans to return to football - and said he looked forward to 'moving on with his life' to 'focus on his faith'.

Folau hopes their case will lead to greater religious freedom. 

'We started this journey on behalf of all people of faith to protect their rights of freedom of speech and religion,' he said.

'We now look forward to the federal government enacting the legislation necessary to further protect and strengthen these rights for all Australians.'

Rugby Australia's apology comes after the star footy player's controversy roiled Australia. It sparked debate over the right of contracts and corporate bodies to restrain free speech in this country, and triggered a push for religious freedom laws.

In its statement today, Rugby Australia said: 'The social media post reflected Mr Folau's genuinely held religious beliefs, and Mr Folau did not intend to harm or offend any person when he uploaded the social media post.'

Meanwhile, there was also an apology from Folau.

The statement read: 'Mr Folau wants all Australians to know that he does not condone discrimination of any kind against any person on the ground of their sexuality and that he shares Rugby Australia's commitment to inclusiveness and diversity.'

'Similarly, Mr Folau did not intend to hurt or harm the game of rugby and acknowledges and apologises for any hurt or harm caused.' 

The former rugby league and AFL player last week increased his compensation claim from $10 million to $14 million, and said the Wallabies would have done better in the 2019 Rugby World Cup if he was playing.

He also recently signalled he wouldn't be backing down from his firmly held religious beliefs.

In an inflammatory sermon at his family's church - first reported by Daily Mail Australia - Folau suggested the drought and bushfires wreaking havoc across Australia's east were caused by the legalisation of same sex marriage.

Questions have been raised about what will now happen to all the funds raised for Folau by the Australian Christian Lobby, after his campaign was dumped by GoFundMe earlier this year.

The lobby's chief executive, Martyn Iles, tweeted that 'donors who gave to the Folau campaign will be contacted in due course and are entitled to refunds on a pro-rata basis'.

In a statement on Wednesday, Mr Illes said Folau's settlement should set a clear precedent for the future.

'We look forward to the federal government producing reforms that prevent taxing and drawn-out legal processes like this in future,' Mr Iles said.

'People of all faiths need clear protections to speak openly about their beliefs. It is wrong for them to be silenced by the fear of litigation or lawsuits by activists.

'It is disproportionate in the extreme to end someone's career simply because they have said something controversial.

'Israel Folau's case was everyone's case, demonstrated by the huge outpouring of financial support from so many Australians.'

Folau played 62 Test matches for Australia, playing his last in 2017, and scored 32 tries for his country. 


Animal rights activists are ordered to tear down 'misleading' billboard calling for captive dolphin breeding at Sea World to be banned

I'll stop eating animals as soon as animals stop eating one-another

Days after launching a campaign against dolphin breeding at Sea World an animal rights group was told their 'misleading' billboards would be taken down.  

World Animal Protection launched the campaign on December 2 targeting Sea World's use of dolphins and allowing them to breed in captivity .

But just days after the billboards went up on the Gold Coast advertising company JCDecaux announced they were taking them down.

The decision to remove the billboards came after Sea World proprietor Village Roadshow slammed the signs as 'false and misleading'.

A Sea World spokesman told the Gold Coast Bulletin preventing dolphins from breeding in captivity would impact negatively on the animals.

'Reproduction is a natural process which enriches the lives of the animals and helps contribute to positive welfare of the animals, which is our utmost priority,' the spokesman said.

'All management strategies to stop breeding are against best practice and decreases the welfare of the dolphins.'

World Animal Protection Head of Campaigns Ben Pearson said he was disappointed by the move. 'It's disappointing our education billboards on the Gold Coast are being taken down after just two days, but our campaign will continue,' he said.

Mr Pearson said the group was fighting to make the current generation of dolphins at Sea World the last.

'With Dolphin Marine Conservation Park in Coffs Harbour having already made this commitment, Sea World is now on its own and out of step with the growing public awareness that keeping dolphins in captivity is cruel,' Mr Pearson said.

'There are currently around 30 dolphins at Sea World, most of which were born and bred there, with breeding to continue in future to provide entertainment for tourists.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted World Animal Protection, Village Roadshow and JCDecaux for further comment. 


Jacqui Lambie says she is open to supporting the government's 'union-busting' laws - under one condition

Looks like ScoMo will get his whole agenda through the Senate

Senate crossbencher Jacqui Lambie is open to supporting the government's reheated union-busting legislation if the proposed laws are reviewed after two years.

Senator Lambie has also rekindled a threat to back the so-called 'ensuring integrity' bill if Victorian construction union boss John Setka does not resign.

The independent senator has demanded the two-year review in return for her support for the legislation, which makes it easier to deregister unions and ban their officials.

'If the government thinks my previously unworkable amendments are now workable, well, I think that's great,' she told The Australian Financial Review on Thursday.

'I'm always happy to work constructively with the government and I note that the CFMEU haven't cleaned up their act - John Setka is still there.'

Senior cabinet minister Peter Dutton says the proposed laws are squarely aimed at 'militant thugs' in the construction industry.  'Hopefully common sense does prevail,' he told 2GB radio. 'I just think people need to recognise that this is a good bill, it's a sensible answer to what is a very difficult problem.'

The ensuring integrity bill was reintroduced to the lower house on Wednesday, less than a week after being voted down in the Senate.

Labor has promised to continue fighting against the proposed laws over the long summer break, before the legislation returns to the Senate next year.

'We'll continue to make sure that working Australians have the right to organise to improve their pay and conditions,' Labor frontbencher Tanya Plibersek told AAP. [Nobody is denying them that]


Prime Minister announces dramatic cuts to public service departments

The prime minister has announced a major change to the public sector, with the number of government departments set to cut from 18 to 14.

As a result, five high-paid department heads will lose their jobs.

“Having fewer departments will allow us to bust bureaucratic congestion and ultimately deliver better services,” he told reporters in Canberra today.

“This is about getting better services on the ground. Australians should be able to access simple and reliable services, designed around their needs.”

Four new mega departments will be created early next year:

* Education, Skills and Employment

* Agriculture, Water and the Environment

* Industry, Science, Energy and Resources

* Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.

The changes will come into effect on February 1 and 10 departments remain unchanged..

There will be no reshuffle to ministerial responsibilities.

The obvious question, and the first one Mr Morrison was asked, was how many public servants will learn over Christmas that they are about to become unemployed.

Mr Morrison said the move wasn’t being made to save money.

“This has not been done as a saving measure, this has been done as a structural issue to better align and bring together the functions of the public service,” he said.

However, asked whether he would guarantee no one would lose their jobs, Mr Morrison noticeably shifted the responsibility for personnel decisions to the departmental secretaries.

“That’s matters for secretaries, and there is nothing in these changes that is a directive to secretaries about making any changes in those areas,” he said.

“Whatever decisions they take, they’re not decisions that the government is taking.”

The sacked head of the federal communications department said he wasn’t given any opportunity to provide advice on a major government shake-up.

Mike Mrdak has spent 32 years in the public service.

“I was told of the government’s decision to abolish the department late yesterday afternoon,” Mr Mrdak said in a memo.

“We were not permitted any opportunity to provide advice on the machinery of government changes, nor were our views ever sought on any proposal to abolish the department or to changes to our structure and operations.”

Earlier this year, the Prime Minister said the public service needed to “evolve” and in some cases “conventional wisdom needs to be challenged”.

He also called for “congestion-busting” to encourage new ideas on how to improve services.


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

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