Australia says ‘yes’ to taxing polluters

Poster supporting the clean energy future bills for pricing pollution and funding clean energy

Say Yes Australia campaign poster – Yes: Price Polution

Over the years, thousands of people have marched for action on climate change. All through the 2000s, I’ve made it a point to join rallies through the streets of Sydney to show my support for action that will ensure a cleaner, greener future. In fact, I want a cleaner, greener now!

The Clean Energy Future Bills passes in the House of Reps

Yesterday, our Federal Government passed it’s Clean Energy Future Bills despite the outcries from the Opposition. I’m surprised that anyone takes Abbott seriously. In 2007, most Australians supported action on climate change. When Rudd signed the Kyoto Protocol, it was a proud moment for Australians. He fought hard in Copenhagen and for legislation with the support of many in the Liberal/National Coalition only to see the likes of Tony Abbott wreck it. He ousted Malcolm Turnbull by one vote – no doubt, his. That shows how close it was. Now he’s simply become Tony the Wrecker. What a shame and shame on the party that allows this type of politics because it does nothing to benefit Australia.

On a positive note, I was proud, along with millions of other Australians that the House of Representatives voted ‘yes’ to take action on climate change and pass the Clean Energy Future Bills. I agree with those who say that these Bills will be seen as a great achievement along with Medicare and universal superannuation.

Despite the constant chatter about ruining Australia, our economy and our way of life, I agree with the climate scientists, the economists who put the package together and the supporters of this Bill that the Clean Energy Future Bills will ensure a productive future in a world that is moving to clean energy technologies.

Making the big polluters pay

Putting a price on the pollution for the big 500 polluters in Australia is the right thing to do. Giving revenue raised to Australians who are not directly polluting the environment is also the right thing to do as is investing in new technologies that can be implemented across the country.

A history of innovative legislation

Australia and Australians have been renowned for innovative legislation – giving women the vote was one. According to the naysayers at the time, it would destroy civilization as we know it. Legislating for equal pay was another momentous move forward. Again, the naysayers including industry groups and business said it would ruin their businesses if they had to pay women the same pay as men. In fact, the opposite happened as the economy boomed.

Rally in Sydney on 14 November 2007 Walk Against Global Warming

Click on image to make larger: you’ll see a sign that says ‘Liberals Walking Against Warming’ – this at a rally in November 2007 in Sydney. How times change!

It will prove to be the same with the Clean Energy Future Bills though this is just the start of what can be done. The Federal Government should be congratulated for having the foresight and courage to see this through (though John Howard had plans to introduce a very similar bill – a point that Tony Abbott neglects entirely).

Reminder of community action for a cleaner future

GetUp is organising a Stand Up To Coal Seam Gas rally on Sunday 16 October 2011 at 12pm in Martin Place.

GetUp is an independent movement that aims to build a progressive Australia and bring participation back into our democracy. It gives a voice to ordinary Australians from all walks of life and political persuasions.

Read more about environmental sustainability on this blog.

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