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Yesterday’s “we will compensate businesses” from Joe Hockey and “we will not compensate businesses” from Tony Abbott and today’s “we will impose penalties” from Abbott and “we don’t expect to” from Greg Hunt proves the Coalition is in complete chaos over climate change policy.

“It’s time the spotlight was shone on the complete debacle that would unfold if the Coalition set about tearing down the Clean Energy Package and tried to implement the policy mess currently on show.” Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Christine Milne said today.

“The Direct Action Plan states “businesses that undertake activity with an emissions level above their ‘business as usual’ levels will incur a financial penalty. The value of penalties will be on a sliding scale at levels commensurate with the size of the business and the extent to which they exceed their ‘business as usual’ levels”.

“So the question is Mr Abbott - what is it? Are there penalties on companies that increase emissions or not?

“And while he’s at it, Mr Abbott might explain who will establish and monitor the baselines against which business as usual will be measured given the Coalition wants to sack the Department of Climate Change.

“It’s time Tony Abbott and Greg Hunt admitted that Malcolm Turnbull was right when he said: “if a scheme operates whereby the government pays the firm to reduce its emissions intensity…there is firstly going to be a substantial and contentious debate about what the correct baseline is, and then whether it will actually be reduced…Arguments of considerable ferocity will arise as to whether a new piece of equipment would have been bought anyway, with the risk that the government ends up funnelling billions of dollars to companies to subsidise their profit without achieving any real additional cuts in emissions.”

“It’s time Tony Abbott came clean on the fact the Direct Action Plan is a slogan and not a policy.

“In an extraordinary show of disinterest and irresponsibility, the Direct Action Plan was written in 2010 and has not changed in spite of new science, technology and global and Australian policy changes.” 

Yesterday on Tasmanian Times, Christine Milne: Coalition totally confused on carbon pricing