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PC fuels carbon debate

The report placed Australia “in the middle of the pack” of countries it surveyed regarding carbon pricing initiatives. They included China, the USA, the UK, South Korea, Japan, Germany and New Zealand.

But Mr Keogh commented that Australia can only claim middling status because of the huge package of carbon credits that successive governments have claimed from the introduction of land clearing laws—something that the Productivity Commission failed to mention.

On the other hand, introducing economy-wide carbon pricing will shuffle Australia towards the head of the pack—a position that could carry unwanted consequences for trade-exposed agriculture, Jock Laurie said.

“After all, as the rest of the international community understands only too well, food is special and policy makers must be wary when tampering with the systems that produce it.”

The Commission said that so far, the effects of carbon pricing on businesses in other countries have so far been “very modest”.

However, it added, “Such price uplifts are of some relevance to assessing carbon leakage and competitiveness impacts, but are very preliminary and substantially more information would be required”.

* The Productivity Commission report, “Carbon Emission Policies in Key Economies” can be downloaded from

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