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Powell Media Release – Labor reneges on successful green agreements (1 December 2011)

The State Opposition has slammed the government for reneging on “green” agreements with local government – in the very week that it is foisting its expensive waste tax onQueensland.

Shadow Minister for Environment Andrew Powell said this government was so cash strapped and broke that it had pulled out of the Brisbane City Council’s EzyGreen initiative on Tuesday.

“Acting Climate Change and Sustainability Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk and Premier Anna Bligh both applauded this partnership for promoting greener habits and making it even easier for Queenslanders to live a greener lifestyle. Yet when Minister for the Environment Vicky Darling pulled the plug on Tuesday she called it a ‘resounding disappointment’.

“Today this tired, 20-year-old government imposed its Waste Tax – which will push up the cost of living for all Queenslanders, but will not help the environment.

“It has not only withdrawn support from the EzyGreen program it has also failed to hold up its financial side of the bargain.

“Ms Darling said the Government had paid $2 million of a promised $3 million to date. Her claim was wrong. Her department has only paid $1.5 million.

“Its May payment of $500,000 was six months overdue and was only paid this morning.”

Mr Powell asked if it was a coincidence the government had withdrawn its support because it didn’t want to support a successful environment initiative established by Campbell Newman.

“This will be a warning to all local governments that any agreement they have with the state government may not be ironclad – and may not be able to meet its payments.

“The EzyGreen program and similar models are successful because they leverage private sector support to bring a range of products into homes to help people reduce their energy bills and emissions. *

 “The alternative, the Climate Smart Home Service, relies solely on taxpayer funding – which under this Government is added to the ever increasing $85 billion credit card bill.

“A CanDo LNP Government will work with local government, industry and the community to achieve real green outcomes instead of participating in token efforts to secure green preferences,” Mr Powell said.

 *The Brisbane City Council’s EzyGreen program cost $30 per home engaged in sustainability compared to the State Government’s reported $320 per home through the Climate Smart Home Service.

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