Labor and Greens divided on carbon price tactics
Source: The Age, 13 November 2013
Tony Abbott has introduced to Parliament the first of the carbon tax repeal bills, while Labor and the Greens are divided on tactics to block the legislation.
On Wednesday morning, the Prime Minister introduced as his first order of business the signature policy of his election campaign: the Clean Energy Legislation (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2013.
“The new government cannot undo the past, we can only make the future better,” Mr Abbott declared.
"The Australian people have pronounced their judgment against the carbon tax, they want it gone.
"This bill delivers," he said.
But Mr Abbott's attempt to abolish the carbon tax is being stalled by the opposition and the Greens, who have different ideas on how to block the legislation.
After much internal deliberation, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said Labor would block Mr Abbott's scrapping of the carbon tax unless the Prime Minister agreed to move from a fixed price on carbon to an emissions trading scheme. Mr Abbott has already ruled out this option, arguing he wants no price on carbon at all.
Mr Shorten also wants to delay the passage of carbon tax repeal legislation through the Senate. On Tuesday night, Labor was seeking the support of the Greens to delay the Senate vote until March 2014.
Mr Shorten wanted the Greens to back a twin Senate inquiry into the abolition of a price on carbon and the Coalition's direct action policy.
While the Greens support an inquiry into what they call Mr Abbott's "sham" Direct Action Scheme, Senator Milne said she would not support a delay on a vote to repeal the carbon price, adding that the Greens wanted to reject the bills immediately in the Senate.
“Labor wants to delay any vote on the repeal of the carbon price and I would say, why do you want to delay it?” Senator Milne told Fairfax Media on Wednesday.
“We worked very hard to implement it. It is working at bringing down emissions,” she added.
“This should be a proactive strategy to defend what we know is working, not a strategy of delay and equivocation.”