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Carbon tax bills pass Senate

The carbon tax legislation has cleared its final hurdle, passing the Senate today

November 8, 2011

Legislation to introduce a carbon tax on July 1 next year has cleared the final hurdle, passing the Senate today.

Despite the Coalition opposing the legislation, Labor and the Greens combined to force a vote on the clean energy bills to establish the scheme.

A fixed price of $23 per tonne of carbon will begin next financial year, rising annually before an emissions trading scheme begins in 2015.

The government plans to apply the tax to trucking operators on July 1, 2014 in the form a reduction of 6.85 cents in the fuel tax credit.

Nationals leader and the Opposition spokesman on transport Warren Truss accused Prime Minister Julia Gillard of giving into the Greens’ demand for a carbon tax. He reiterated the Coalition’s position to rescind the tax if it wins office at the next election.

“We have given ironclad notice to all Australians that should the Coalition form the next government we will repeal this destructive tax,” Truss says.

The Australian Conservation Foundation used the passage of the legislation to praise the serving politicians “who have had the courage, foresight and determination” to vote for a carbon tax.

“Industries that do want to contribute to creating a cleaner and healthier future for our children and grandchildren now have an incentive to find new, cleaner ways to do business,” ACF CEO Don Henry says.

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) wants the industry be permanently exempted from the scheme. Subsequent legislation will need to be introduced to extend the tax to trucking operators.

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