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What is going on?

We saw the climate circus in full swing last week with the carbon price voted on and voted down. But we didn’t hear much about the Carbon Farming Initiative Amendment Bill. What is going on?

Well, the focus has been on carbon price repeal and the jockeying in the new Senate. The discussion has all been on electricity prices, not too much on the longer term game. While the vote went down on Palmer politics, the carbon price repeal bill will be back in Parliament this week and can be passed if the Senate ducks line up. Norton Rose Fullbright sorts out how this can happen. Still, the chance of the carbon price remaining has gone up a touch. The Kimberley Land Council is looking through this crack of light and reminding us of the benefits.

But what of the CFI Amendment Bill which would implement Direct Action? Not a peep!

In the background, the Senate committee looking into this bill reported last week – the Government majority supported passing the bill without change – completely ignoring concerns raised by us and others – while Labor and the Greens did not support passing the bill, especially while the carbon price is being dismantled. Window dressing?

The bill is not likely to be debated and passed this week. This raises the prospect of the carbon price being removed with not only nothing in its place, but no clear pathway to implementing something else. Labor and the Greens are stiffening against, but Xenophon and Palmer have different kinds of olive branches. But if not done this week, the next sitting day will not be until 26 August which means the $2.5 billion Emissions Reduction Fund might not happen for a while. If at all.

How determined will the Government be to implement its flagship climate policy? That will be the question if the carbon price repeal goes through this week.

It’s worth reminding what this means: without a consistent and stable carbon policy land projects to reduce emissions and deliver other environmental benefits will not happen.


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