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Carbon trading, the John Howard way

We've accepted by now that the Federal Budget gave little more than lip service to handling climate change. One of the more kindly suggested reasons could be that the Government might be saving up its pork barrelling... er, expenditure announcements till the Prime Ministerial Task Force on Emissions Trading presents its report on May 31.

The Task Force's sub-website can be found here. Worth noting is the composition of the PMTFET:

  • Dr Peter Shergold - Secretary, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (chairman)
  • David Borthwick - Secretary, Department of the Environment and Heritage
  • Peter Coates - Executive Committee Member, Xstrata
  • Tony Concannon - Managing Director, International Power
  • Dr Ken Henry - Secretary, The Treasury
  • Russell Higgins - Non-Executive Director, Australian Pipeline Trust
  • Margaret Jackson - Chairman, Qantas (for now)
  • Michael L’Estrange - Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • Chris Lynch - Executive Director, BHP Billiton
  • John Marlay - Chief Executive Officer, Alumina Limited
  • Mark Paterson - Secretary, Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources
  • John Stewart - Managing Director, National Australia Bank

So who's missing?

Who's representing the NGOs? the environmental groups? the academics? the community groups? Is there a single person on the task force outside either the public service or the corporate world?


It's a Task Force For All Of Us™.

Howard and his minions like to tell us how the Labor Party is beholden to the union movement. Whether that is true or not is for another time and another debate, but wouldn't it be fair to say that the Liberal Party is beholden to the interests of the business world?

At least the community was given the chance to put forward their own submissions. The non-confidential ones can be accessed from this page, where they will remain until they are totally ignored in the final report.

Meanwhile, similar to the situation in parts of the USA, the eight state and territory governments have gotten together to establish their own National Emissions Trading Taskforce, which aims to set up its own Kyoto-friendly emissions trading scheme, ready for the Rudd Labor government to plug into when the time comes.