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Resources minister calls for carbon price in Australia

09-21-2010 17:06 BJT

CANBERRA, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Energy security could become a problem in the next 15 years if Australia does not put a price on carbon, Resources Minister Martin Ferguson said on Tuesday.

Ferguson told ABC Television on Tuesday he had been unable to make progress on a white paper on energy because of the lack of a carbon price, although he declined to say whether he preferred a carbon tax or a market mechanism.

"That is a matter for the climate change committee to consider, " Ferguson said. "I also think there is a roll for industry to play," noting recent speeches by the CEOs of BHP Billiton and AGL Energy supporting a price for carbon.

He said until there is a carbon price there will be uncertainty about investment in alternative energy in Australia.

"We're at a point of which, if we don't make these decisions in the next couple of years, in five, 10, 15 years' time we could have energy security problems as a nation," he said.

"Hence, there is a need sooner than later to resolve the issue of a price on carbon that creates the investment certainty and will bring on investment in energy in Australia."

Meanwhile, Ferguson added that electricity prices will increase significantly across the country because of the cost of maintaining the existing energy system.

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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