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Adelaide Carbon Tax Forum Brings Out Comedians

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The Arkaba Hotel in Adelaide was the scene for 300 people to gather yesterday, to listen and talk about Australia's proposed Carbon Tax. The comedians were both in the audience an on stage.

Last week, Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, announced a $23 per tonne Carbon Tax, or in Labor Party political-speak, a Carbon Price. Tax is a bad word to say, if you are proposing a tax, so you call it a "price." The opposition, of course, calls it a tax because that is the way to get attention and get people fired up.

Australians are not happy with the idea of the new tax, which none of the people at this forum believed will help the environment. Australians can often see the funny side of any situation, and it seems there are plenty of comedians around, taking advantage of the fodder the politicians bring out.

While not quite as forthright as the woman who called Julia Gillard a liar to her face, on public Television yesterday, there were some zingers.

carbon tax forum
Federal Liberal Politicians, Jamie Briggs, MP for Mayo, Christopher Pyne, MP for Sturt, Mathias Cormann, Shadow Assistant Treasurer, Andrew Southcott, MP for Boothby, Simon Birmingham, Senator for South Australia.
Photo: Alan Gray, NewsBlaze

The forum was arranged by Federal Liberal Politicians (the conservative opposition party) representing South Australia. Simon Birmingham did an excellent job as MC, backed up by Shadow Assistant Treasurer, Mathias Cormann, Andrew Southcott, MP for Boothby, Christopher Pyne, MP for Sturt and Jamie Briggs, MP for Mayo. In the audience, were NSW Federal MP John Alexander, Member for Bennelong, who was in Adelaide for another reason, and South Australian MPs Terry Stephens and Mark Goldsworthy.

If it wasn't clear before, forums like this are making it abundantly clear that the Labor Government has done a terrible job of communicating with Australians. People do not feel close to the Prime Minister and she seems oblivious to the trail of discord she has created over her 180 degree flip-flop from "There will be no Carbon Tax under the government I lead," to "The Labor Party believes in pricing Carbon."

Australians are very easy-going, which is why it is possible for politicians to take advantage of them for a time, but Australians have long memories and the ballot box is a great leveler.

Simon Birmingham opened the forum with a quip about PM Gillard being offered an invitation to the forum. Christopher Pyne followed up shortly after with "I think we have a Carbon Tax because the Prime Minister is searching for a reason for existence," which elicited laughter and applause.

The first commedian in the audience came up with this beauty: "I don't mind paying to clean the place up, but I'd like to know what I'm paying for, and right now I don't believe I'm paying for anything, I'm just paying." Another man asked for a description of how to weigh a tonne of Carbon dioxide.

Answering a question, Senator Cormann said "The only thing that will stop this government is the force of public opinion" and tacked on this joke at the end "We're politicians, we don't look at the polls, as you know."

Even though there were no Labor MPs at the forum, one man reminded everyone that Labor has their own commedians, other than the Prime Minister. He said the Deputy Prime Minister, asked what would help productivity in Australia, answered, "The Carbon Tax."

The Liberal party, while being on the side of Australians who do not want or understand a Carbon Tax, and are comitted to reducing pollution by proactive means, do not want to talk about the possibility that human-caused climate change is not a contributing problem. Several speakers from the audience spoke about this, but it was deflected each time, because party policy doesn't include that point of view.

Attendees seemed to leave with several ideas about taking action to let Labor MPs know they are not happy with what the government is doing.

Last week, NewsBlaze spoke to people in Rundle Mall. Only one man was pro- Carbon Tax. Most were against it, or had a wait-and-see attitude because they knew little or nothing about it.

Most Australians appear to care about the environment, but seem to be saying the government doesn't know what it is doing and it certainly has not communicated well.

Here is a selection of clips from the forum:

Here is the Rundle Mall Carbon Tax video:

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