Speaking at the National Press Club in Canberra, the Prime Minister said she couldn't “unsay” what she said before the election, when she declared “there will be no carbon tax under a government I lead”.
JULIA Gillard showed rare emotion today as she defended her carbon tax - and her prime ministership - from community outcry and personal attacks.
She said she meant what she said, because an ongoing carbon tax “was not what I had in my mind as the future for our country”.
Attempting to make a virtue of the difficulty of her political plight, Ms Gillard said reform never came easily. She said putting a price on carbon was her government's equivalent to the floating of the dollar - a reform that would transform the country. But she hinted at the personal difficulty she'd encountered explaining her position, and dealing with the fallout from her broken no-carbon tax promise.
The public outpouring follows almost daily attacks on the Prime Minister over her broken no-carbon tax promise. She said she'd made the pledge with a clear view of what she meant.
But she faced a difficult decision following the election, given the result and the reality of minority government. “I had in my mind pricing carbon and reaching an emissions trading scheme,” she said. “I could have said, in this parliament, `I'll hold to those words'. “And the absolute logical consequence of me doing that would have been to say, `We'll put carbon pricing into the too-hard basket'.”
Ms Gillard said Australians should be walking the reform road together. But in just three days selling her carbon tax to voters, she has been hounded by protesters and repeatedly branded a liar. Asked about the intensity of the carbon debate and the media's responsibilities, Ms Gillard issued a blunt appeal to reporters. “Don't write crap,” she said.
“It can't be that hard,” she said. “And when you have written complete crap, I think you should correct it.” She said the “volume of crap” had changed over the years, due to the demands of modern media. “I'm not suggesting in the past everything we read was wonderfully accurate. “But I think with the new media environment, where you are both restless and relentless with content ... I think the quality of the content is possibly lower just because the volume has had to be higher.”
Author | Source | The Australian