Yesterday, your humble blogger received a public undertaking from Premier Barry O’Farrell, that he would consult the NSW State Attorney General with a view to a legal challenge by the NSW State Government to the Federal Government’s carbon tax.
Today, a gentle reminder for Mr O’Farrell of his pre-election commitment to the people of NSW.
Feb 24, 2011:
I’ll fight against carbon tax: O’Farrell
NSW opposition leader Barry O’Farrell says he will go to Canberra to argue against a carbon tax, if the coalition wins the state election.
He was speaking during a live leadership debate with Premier Kristina Keneally, who is in favour of setting a price on carbon.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced on Thursday that a carbon price will start in Australia on July 1, 2012.
“I don’t support a carbon tax, the Premier does,” Mr O’Farrell said.
“The premier’s advisers say carbon taxes will cost families another $500 a year on their power bills.
“I don’t think that’s affordable.
“If you’re talking about reducing the cost of living pressures you can’t support a carbon tax.
Mr O’Farrell, the High Court of Australia is in Canberra.
And your most powerful argument against the carbon tax, is the Australian Constitution, section 114 in particular:
States may not raise forces – Taxation of property of Commonwealth or State
A State shall not, without the consent of the Parliament of the Commonwealth, raise or maintain any naval or military force, or impose any tax on property of any kind belonging to the Commonwealth, nor shall the Commonwealth impose any tax on property of any kind belonging to a State.
In October 2011, constitutional barrister Bryan Pape publicly stated that State governments have legal standing to challenge the Commonwealth’s Clean Energy Future Bills 2011, given their impact on state-owned electricity generation and distribution assets.
But it is not just state-owned electricity assets that will be impacted by the carbon tax.
As we discovered in my in-depth research of the Federal Government’s NGER Register of “biggest polluters” ( The “500 Biggest Polluters” Exposed – Everything The Government Is Not Telling You ), the carbon tax will also impact on many other state-owned enterprises and utilies, including public hospitals and health care facilities, public transport, state rail networks, water utilities, state universities, state forests, and more.
Section 114 of the Constitution is clear. The Commonwealth cannot impose any tax on property of any kind belonging to a State.
Mr O’Farrell, you campaigned on a clear anti-carbon tax platform; pledged to take up the fight against the carbon tax in Canberra; and urged NSW voters to elect you as their representative to pursue that fight:
O’Farrell calls for NSW carbon tax revolt
NSW Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell has joined the chorus calling for a people’s revolt against a carbon tax, saying the March state election is a chance for voters to send a message to Canberra.
During a visit to a shopping centre at Cranebrook, in Sydney’s west, Mr O’Farrell said the yet-to-be-determined price on carbon would raise annual energy bills by $500, and increase grocery and petrol prices.
He called on voters to voice their anger when they vote, saying a new coalition government would “send a shiver up the spine of every federal ALP backbencher sitting in a marginal seat”.
“The coming poll is the only opportunity that families and small businesses have across NSW to try and stop this carbon tax dead,” Mr O’Farrell said on Friday.
“To stop this tax needs every voice and every vote and the poll on the 26th of March gives people an opportunity to do that.”
Mr O’Farrell, your campaign promise worked:
ALP deserters ‘spooked’ by carbon tax
JULIA Gillard’s carbon tax may have saved two high-profile NSW ministers from a Greens’ assault in inner Sydney, but the move exacerbated the revolt against the 16-year-old Labor regime in its own heartland.
In western and southern Sydney, mining areas and long-established industrial towns, factory workers, two-car families and low-income households swung more heavily against Labor than the NSW average.
Echoing their federal leader Tony Abbott, incoming Coalition MPs in NSW argue that traditional Labor voters were spooked by the prospect of job losses, higher petrol prices and rising household power bills from a carbon tax.
Mr O’Farrell, you have made a promise.
You have a case to argue.
You have no excuses.
P.S. Please inform Mr O’Farrell and your local MP (or your own State Premier) that it is Your Will that the State Government should challenge the constitutionality of the carbon tax legislation in the High Court. Sample letter and contact details here.