Lighter Footprints received its first mention in the news pages of The Australian Financial Review recently, following several emails from us to Bill Shorten strongly urging him to continue his support for a price on carbon after the election.
The following excerpt comes from the Page 4 lead story on Thursday 30 May.
Shorten to block Abbott on carbon tax
Employment Minister Bill Shorten has indicated that should he lead Labor after the federal election, he would not be willing to roll over to Tony Abbott and allow a Coalition government to abolish the price on carbon.
In an email to a concerned lobby group, Mr Shorten said two recent articles which suggested he would lead Labor after the election and readily assent to the abolition of the troublesome policy were “misleading”. “For the record, I told the journalist who asked me about carbon pricing that I’d always supported the government’s carbon pricing policy and that hasn’t changed,” he said.
“A carbon price is the best way to do something about climate change, so we can pass on the planet to our kids and grand-kids in the best shape possible.”
He says the election poses a “real choice” between competing climate change policies. He tells the group, Lighter Footprints: “Feel free to tell your friends I absolutely support Labor’s smart and fair carbon pricing policy.”
Mr Shorten was responding to an email from the group’s convener who wrote: “We read that the ALP is considering (post a lost election) dumping its position on a price of carbon and possibly the ETS and we lose whatever hope we (have) in this government.
“Don’t do it, even if you are thinking like this.”
Mr Abbott has promised repeatedly that if the Senate does not allow him to abolish the carbon price, he will call a double dissolution election.
He said repealing the carbon tax would be his first legislative act. He believes Labor will abandon the policy as the Coalition abandoned WorkChoices after it was the principal cause of its 2007 election loss. What to do about the carbon price will be the first major decision facing Labor should it find itself in Opposition after September 14.
While this would depend on who was left and who was leader, there is a growing mood within the Labor Party that Mr Abbott, if he wins, will struggle in his first years, especially if the economy continues to decline and he institutes harsh budget cuts.
One MP said the school of thought was that Labor should adhere to its policy principles and force Mr Abbott to honour his promise and have another election. With the polls showing Labor needing a miracle to win, there is increasing internal focus on the post-election make-up of the Labor Party.”