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Australia’s Carbon Tax still Taxing. End in Sight

July 8, 2011

A number of seasoned participants in the Australia’s planning to introduce a carbon price over the last 12 years have lost much interest in the debate in recent times (yes: the first detailed proposals were issued in 1999).

The discussions have been noisy, messy, and (too often) stupid.  It’s taxing.

The Prime Minister, Climate Change Minister, and Opposition leader, have been involved in a school yard slanging match.

However, even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day.

It really is only in the last week that realisation has been hitting corporate Australia that, come Sunday, the Government may really have done a deal which will mean passage and implementation of a bill which will impose a carbon price.  The end is (possibly) in sight.

The ASX has notified affected companies that it will scrutinise statements made by listed companies as to the material impacts.  (we are aware of some companies which will likely be affected and this issue is still not on their radars).

However, uncertainty will persist.  Australia’s suboptimal power generation investment (or lack of) will likely persist.  The Opposition is perceived to plan to repeal the carbon measure at the first opportunity.  At the moment of first review (likely within only a few years), the plan could substantially change.

When you talk to power infrastructure investors (and major emitters) the sensation of unease, uncertainty and bewilderment is still evident.

Come next week, many will enjoy greater relaxation if the carbon policy wars will not dominate the news quite so much.  For others, persistent anxiety will set in.

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