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Minister for the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts 2001-2004

The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP



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Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp

30 June 2004

Port Augusta can't afford Labor

The future of Port Augusta - with its Northern and Thomas Playford 'B' power stations fuelled by brown coal from Leigh Creek - would be threatened by the election of a Latham Labor government, according to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp.

Dr Kemp was speaking at the Northern power station, which is one of the many coal-fired power stations around Australia that provide our industries and communities with inexpensive and reliable electricity.

"We know that the recent proposals by the Greens would spell the end of brown coal as a source for electricity but implementation of the ALP's triple threat policy would see a massive and irreversible increase in power prices," Dr Kemp said.

"The ALP will ratify the Kyoto Protocol which will mean increased costs for the energy intensive industries of the Iron Triangle.

"Labor will also institute a national emissions trading scheme, which according to a recent report by Allen Consulting, could cost up to 15,000 jobs and drive up household electricity prices by as much as 27 per cent. A New Zealand Labour government estimate of its own proposed emissions trading scheme has estimated petrol prices could rise by 6 cents a litre as well as significant hikes in power prices.

"The third plank in Labor's disastrous greenhouse cave-in is a Mandatory Renewable Energy Target increased to 5 per cent, which will cost the Australian economy up to $9 billion by 2020.

"All of these proposals will have negative impacts on our industries and communities and are totally unnecessary given that Australia is rapidly reducing its greenhouse intensity and will reach its internationally agreed target.

"Continued economic growth and development of technologies that will achieve lower greenhouse gas abatement are critical in our fight against climate change. Howard government policies will mean the annual abatement of 67 million tonnes of greenhouse gases by the end of the decade.

"That is the equivalent of removing every vehicle from Australia's roads - and we have done it without imposing ridiculous imposts on industries, without sacrificing jobs and without playing havoc with electricity prices.

"Let's recognize the nature of Labor's policy. It is a lethal cocktail for higher prices and job losses - an irrational policy cobbled together to appease the noisy extremist minority who want to see the end of coal as an energy source," Dr Kemp said.

Commonwealth of Australia