Australia carbon tax: Abbott introduces repeal bill

Prime Minister Tony Abbott during a swearing in ceremony in the House of Representatives chamber at Parliament House on 12 November 2013 in Canberra, Australia Mr Abbott's bill will be opposed by Labor and the Greens

Related Stories

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has begun steps to scrap the carbon tax, introducing a repeal bill at the first meeting of the new parliament.

Mr Abbott, who was elected in September, had made revoking the controversial tax an election pledge.

He intends to replace the tax with a Direct Action plan, where industries will be paid to reduce emissions.

However, the bill is not expected to pass the Senate, where Mr Abbott's coalition lacks a majority.

Australia's new parliamentary season began on Tuesday, with Liberal MP Bronwyn Bishop overseeing proceedings as the new Speaker.

Introducing the legislation, Mr Abbott described the 7 September election as "a referendum on the carbon tax".

"This is our bill to reduce your bills, to reduce the bills of the people of Australia," he added.

The controversial tax, which was introduced under the previous Labor government, imposed a levy on the 300 biggest polluters.

Australia is the developed world's worst polluter per head of population.

But Mr Abbott said that the tax cost jobs and forced energy prices up.

The bill is expected to be approved by Australia's lower house, where Mr Abbott's Liberal-National coalition has a majority.

However, the opposition Labor party, which introduced the original carbon tax, and the Greens are both opposed to Mr Abbott's Direct Action plan, and say they will vote down the bill in the Senate.

Senator and Greens leader Christine Milne said the government was destroying Australia's means of reducing carbon emissions.

"When are we going to stand up and accept the science and act?" she said.

The repeal bill cannot be passed without Senate approval.

The new senators elected in September's polls, including those representing minor parties who may support the repeal, do not take their seats until July 2014.

Mr Abbott's speech was interrupted by several shouting protesters, who were ejected from the public gallery.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Asia stories

RSS

Features

  • How ebola spread graphicPatient zero

    How one boy’s death triggered Ebola outbreak


  • Prosperi in the 1994 MdSLost in the desert

    How I drank bat blood and urine to survive in the Sahara


  • A young Chinese girl looks at an image of BarbieBarbie's battle

    Can the doll make it in China at the second attempt?


  • Afghan interpetersBlacklisted

    The Afghan interpreters left by the US to the mercy of the Taliban


  • Flooded homesNo respite

    Many hit by last winter's floods are struggling to pay soaring insurance bills


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.