Mayor unimpressed by carbon debate
THE Prime Minister and Opposition Leader’s debate on carbon tax failed to impress Mayor Ron Bellingham at a recent trip to Canberra.
At the Australian Local Government Association conference last week, Cr Bellingham said both Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott made presentations on their stances on the tax.
According to the mayor, Gillard argued that New Zealand had a version of the carbon tax and therefore Australia needed to “have the guts” to do the same.
Abbott on the other hand pretty much said, “It’s just a big tax and we don’t want it,” according to Cr Bellingham.
“I’d like to have heard some detail,” he told councillors at yesterday’s general meeting.
“But it was not forthcoming and I was disappointed.
“Frankly they had the opportunity to make their case.
“The Australian public had the mental capacity to have a reasonable debate on this but we need to know the reasons why.”
Cr Bellingham said the conference highlighted how Queensland was “head and shoulders above the rest” in terms of local government.
“It has more responsibilities and that in itself is a challenge,” he said.
He said interesting discussion was had on the state of the “Australian patchwork economy” and that many were struggling right across the country.
“We are not in boom time by any stretch of the imagination,” Cr Bellingham said.
He said the level of the Australian dollar was significantly impacting on rural producers and heavy-handed interest rates to keep inflation down were also a huge concern.