ABC News Online, Posted 2 hours 57 minutes ago
Updated 1 hour 37 minutes ago
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Environment groups say proposals outlined in the Federal Government's green paper on carbon emissions trading will reward the largest polluters.
Coal-fired power generators will get compensation once the scheme is implemented in 2010 and 20 per cent of polluters will get free emission permits.
Mark Wakeham from Environment Victoria says compensating generators sends mixed signals, and will delay investment in renewable energy.
"The fact that the Government is looking to exempt and compensate large polluters is going to make it that much harder and more expensive for the rest of the economy to achieve emissions reduction," he said.
The measures have been welcomed by the energy generators, who say it will secure the power supply and avoid large job losses.
John Boshier from the National Generators Forum says the measures outlined in the green paper will secure energy supplies.
"The Government is seeking to ensure a gradual industry transition which avoids the need for sudden large scale capacity before sufficient replacement capacity can be installed and so ensures that reliability of supply will be maintained," he said.
Premier welcomes scheme
The Premier, John Brumby, says the scheme will not put families through unnecessary financial hardship.
"It means that we can move towards an emissions trading scheme, but do that with essentially zero impact on petrol prices," he said.
"And I think given the pressures on family budgets at the moment, whether it's through interest rates, the price of food or the price of petrol, this is a very sensible announcement and it's one that we fully support."