Australian Liberal government reintroduces legislation to scrap carbon tax

The Australian Liberal government reintroduced legislation to scrap the country’s carbon tax, three months after opposition parties Labor and the Greens rallied in the Senate to defeat the first attempt.

“The people have spoken and now it’s up to this Parliament to show it listened and Australian people have passed their judgement on the carbon tax,” Tonni Abbott told.

Abbott has said that he hopes the new Senate will move quickly to “scrap this toxic tax.” Some senators have nevertheless criticised the government for imposing a seemingly unreasonable timeframe for such a crucial vote.

Should the carbon tax be repealed, the Australian government has said that it plans to introduce a “Direct Action Plan” in its place, which will include another market-based mechanism known formally as the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF). This will see the government purchase emissions reductions from pre-approved projects, following an auction process.

The Direct Action Plan has, however, largely been panned by the Labor Party, with opposition leader Bill Shorten calling it a “multibillion-dollar boondoggle.” Shorten has said that Labor will only support the carbon tax repeal if meaningful climate action policy takes its place.