Environmental Policies in Australia: Gillard Government

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Environmental policies in Australia: Gillard government Until recently, many of the environmentalist policies of the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard have been quite moderate, such as encouraging children to turn off their game consoles when not in use. On the government-run Clean Energy Future homepage, the website proclaims: "Switching off video game consoles when not in use could save households up to $150 a year enough to buy several great new games." The website provides a link to tips for ordinary consumers about how they can save money on energy costs through conservation efforts. This is environmentalism marketed from a self-interested perspective. The message is that people can save money and save energy at the same time. While this is a helpful promotional campaign in some respects, it is also somewhat inaccurate, given that many of the measures that must be taken to save the planet will likely be more costly and result in the consumer having to give up certain things and to pay more money for others. Organic food and hybrid cars, for example, cost more than standard-grown food and standard vehicles. However, the Gillard government has instituted one fairly radical and controversial policy: the new imposed carbon tax which took effect on July 1, 2012. The tax requires 500 of Australia's top polluting companies to "pay a fixed price, starting at Aus$23 per tonne, for their carbon dioxide emissions for the first three years. The mechanism would then shift

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