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Did Gillard and Milne leave a booby trap in the carbon legislation?

Apparently, on May 31, Australia’s targets for emissions cuts tripled overnight.Who knew? Answer: Christine Milne and Julia Gillard.

Australia was aiming for a 5% cut by 2020, but it’s now become a cut of 18% by 2020. The Clean Energy Act of 2011 set that savage goal as a default target that popped into existence if the current government had not jumped through some arbitrary hoop — in this case by setting an emissions cap.

Most likely this is a non-event — presumably the current government can wipe out the carbon legislation after July 1, which depends on Clive Palmer, a coal magnate. (UPDATE: Last night Palmer said he’ll repeal the carbon tax). But even so, I wonder if there is a sting in the cost? Are there contracts that are tied to the target, so that compensation for removing it automatically tripled as well?

And if the tripling of the target is meaningless, why would anyone advertise their deception in sneaking it in?

Could it be Milne and Gillard see themselves as Gods come to save us (damn those stupid voters!). Milne seems positively pleased she was able to trick Australians. The voters may have voted to remove the carbon tax but Gillard and Milne wouldn’t be stopped by the mere wishes of the people. The pair could have explained their “achievement” before the election couldn’t they? Instead, they saved it up til after it was triggered.

Greens leader Christine Milne said the measure was inserted in the act to insure against ”a government like this refusing to set a cap”.

How’s that for open and transparent government? Are we insuring against a government failure or a voter failure?

”It won’t have realised because it never put its mind to the detail,” Senator Milne said. ”By doing nothing more than we are already doing, we are getting to 18.8 [per cent] and if we put a bit of effort in, we can go even higher.”

It’s all so easy being a ruler. Just say the word and those emissions vanish. Pff!

But hey, if we have to cut emissions nearly 20% by 2020 we better start building those nuclear plants today. I’m sure Milne would be pleased…

A spokesman for Environment Minister, Greg Hunt, declined to confirm the government had overlooked the default.

”We have always said we will repeal the carbon tax – lock, stock and barrel,” the spokesman said. ”We will cut emissions by 5 per cent from 2000 levels by 2020, and we’ll do it without a carbon tax.”

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/
This news came out on June 3, yet hardly any commentators have spoken of it.  So I presume it’s a pointless last-gasp sideshow that will evaporate in a month or so (hopefully). But since the creators of that legislation weren’t good with numbers, and didn’t seem to have voters interests at heart, it would be good to know someone was reading the fine print.
Seems there are more clauses from the zombie tax still to come.

While the government remains confident it can secure enough votes in the new Senate after July 1 to repeal the carbon price, uncertainties will fester so long as the current tax remains.

For instance, should the debate linger to September trade-exposed industries will be eligible for many free emissions permits, said John Connor, chief executive of the Climate Institute.

Presumably Bill Shorten also knew of the deadline. But he refused to allow the carbon tax to be removed last year, so  if there is an extra cost to removing the Carbon Tax now,  I’d say he owns that bill.
Would an honest politician with a persuasive case need to write complex legislation with billion-dollar-changes hidden in fine print clauses? I guess they would if they wanted to avoid debate.
What they did may have been technically legal, but it’s criminally petty. Let’s show off the ugly inner tyrant, eh?
Character is destiny, they say: except when the media is on your side and deception and lies get portrayed as “saving the planet”. There was a code of honor that no politician should hide bombs in the legislation — but democracy needs a healthy media to scrutinize that to maintain it. If the Sydney Morning Herald applauds those who avoid debate and trick voters, we’ll get more of the same.
As I keep saying, the problem IS the media. If we had better media, we’d get better politicians.
h/t to Brunswick_Greenie
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