Once more the National Secretary of the Australian Workers' Union (pictured on left) has been caught doing a little background bragging to the media in 2012:
Howes' famous threat to withdraw support for the carbon price if it cost "one job" paid off when the government delivered a package containing large free permits for trade exposed industries, a $300 million steel transformation package and big support for coal industry jobs.
There is just one small problem with any brag, one can get quickly caught out. Howes does not appear to have publicly made this threat until 13 April 2011 at the earliest.
Yet the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Green Paper of July 2008 clearly stated:
The Government also recognises that there will be adjustment costs for businesses as they move to a low carbon economy. That is why the green paper outlines programs to assist these businesses in the transition period. This assistance involves providing free permits to the most emissions intensive trade exposed activities…
In November 2009 the NSW Farmers Federation reported:
The Government says that it recognises that emissions-intensive coal mines need transitional assistance to adjust to the introduction of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. It will target assistance to the most gassy mines, and has on the table a $750m package to assist these mines investigate and implement abatement opportunities and ease their transition to the introduction of a carbon price.
On 17 March 2011 the Prime Minister; promised she will not allow jobs in heavily polluting trade-exposed industries to go overseas under her emissions pricing regime.
The same day the Garnaut Climate Change Review Update Paper 6 recommended assistance to trade exposed industries for ninety per cent of their obligation.
While on 23 March 2011 it was reported that; compensation packages [are] now being negotiated by Labor in closed-door meetings with the directors [of] trade-exposed companies. This resulted in federal government funding worth $300 million going to Australian steel manufacturing, in addition to other assistance being offered to steel as one of the emissions-intensive trade exposed industries The coal and aluminum sectors were also included in this trade exposed industries compensation.
Although Australian Workers' Union formal submissions to government may have assisted in shaping government policy on carbon pricing, Paul Howes’ self-promoting ‘threat’ had next to nothing to do with any influence this union exerted.