BUSINESSES, community organisations and coalmining communities not eligible for direct compensation under the emissions trading scheme have not been forgotten, with a $2.5 billion special fund set aside to help them adapt.
The Climate Change Action Fund will be available to pay for energy-saving measures that would reduce operating costs.
As well, there will be help for the coal sector that could otherwise be at risk as a consequence of the scheme, threatening jobs and communities in predominantly Labor seats.
The biggest component of the fund, $1.4 billion, will be available to low-polluting small and medium-sized businesses, as well as community organisations, none of which are participants in the emissions trading scheme but which will be affected by the higher costs it produces.
They can apply for grants to install more energy-efficient lighting, air-conditioners and any other appliances. Money will also be available to help implement more efficient production methods.
The second-biggest component of the fund will be the $750 million to help coalmining regions. Particularly "gassy" mines – those which emit greenhouse gases as a consequence of mining – will have to buy permits but will not be eligible for the standard industry compensation.
Dirty, existing coalmines will be eligible for $500 million in assistance to keep them viable while they explore ways to cut pollution. Another $250 million will be used to help find solutions.
The third element will be $200 million in structural adjustment for workers in other sectors who may find their jobs at risk.
"The Government stands ready to provide assistance where a clear, identifiable and significant impact arises, or is highly likely to arise, as a direct result of the scheme," the white paper says.
The Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, said the provision was necessary to deal with any "unanticipated challenges".
The final component of the Climate Change Action Fund will be $130 million for an "information" program to alert small business and community organisations to the existence of the fund and how to manage under the emissions scheme.