Hide holds court – two turn up to listen

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ACT Party leader Rodney Hide did a spot of electioneering in Queenstown today while slamming the Government’s emissions trading scheme. 

Local Government Minister Hide, in town for the New Zealand Society of Local Government Managers conference, called a public meeting to explain his party’s position on the controversial policy. 

Two people went along to listen. 

Hide, a former environmental scientist, says the “all sectors, all gases” scheme – which charges carbon-emitting sectors a fee to do so – is going to seriously affect farmers and therefore the national economy. 

“The ETS is designed to damningly put up the price of petrol and electricity to drive the economy down – and thereby stop us giving off carbon dioxide. Its whole purpose is to have a savage impact on an already ailing economy. We should dump it,” he says. 

“It’s only going to improve the balance sheets of forestry companies and negatively impact the balance sheets of every other business in the country. It’s nutty. 

“What it requires of the ACT Party is to explain how people can use their party vote…if we can get five, six, seven per cent [at next year’s election] we can make a huge difference.” 

Prime Minister John Key has indicated his Government’s not backing down on the scheme – which goes under review next year – but could be swayed if ACT had more MPs, Hide says. 

Previously, the Government has promised it’ll be a fast-follower, not a leader, in the global warming debate. In April this year, the Australian Government decided to shelve its plans, and the international climate change summit in Copenhagen was widely described as a flop.