Saturday, July 12, 2008

Wong drops hints on emissions trade plans

ABC News Online, Posted 4 hours 4 minutes ago 

Updated 1 hour 39 minutes ago

Climate Change Minister Penny Wong says this week's discussion paper on a carbon trading scheme will give Australians a "clear idea" of the Government's plans.

The green paper will be released on Wednesday, and Senator Wong is emphasising that it is a discussion paper and not the Government's final policy.

But on ABC1's Insiders program she has signalled it will include details about whether the Government plans to include petrol in the scheme, and how households will be compensated.

"The green paper will make clear the direction the Government is taking on key issues, key design elements of the emissions trading scheme, and obviously coverage is one of those," Senator Wong said.

"So I would anticipate you'll get a clear idea of the direction the Government is seeking to take on these issues.

"Obviously it's a green paper, out there for consultation."

Senator Wong also says about 1,000 businesses will have to buy carbon credits as part of the emissions trading scheme.

She says the Government's main focus is on the big polluters.

"We'd anticipate approximately 1,000 Australian companies would be required to obtain permits under this scheme," she said.

"Obviously we'll focus primarily on the large polluters so it's unlike ... the GST. That obviously involved 2 million Australian companies, here we're talking about 1,000 Australian companies."

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