Australian parliament passes carbon tax law

Melbourne: Australian parliament has passed the carbon tax that will impose a price on carbon emissions. The legislation which has always led to lengthy debates was passed with the support of Greens yesterday.

“This history-making vote turns years of discussion into a reality,” Prime Minister Julia Gillard said.

The Prime Minister said it was the right thing for Australia’s future and would provide jobs for our children.

“It’s a ‘green letter day’ but one which will echo down the ages. There’s a celebration going on in this nation today,” Greens leader, Bob Brown, said. “People 50 or 500 years from now will thank us for the passage of this legislation.”

“This new tax is a blow to the future of Australian manufacturing and a new burden for families struggling under cost of living increases,” Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said.

Finance Minister Penny Wong said, “(This is) a reform long overdue, a reform which represents a clear (divide) in politics in this country between those who look to the future and those who are mired in the fear campaigns of today.”

The country accounts for about 1.5 per cent of global emissions. It is also developed world’s highest emitter per capita since Australia relies on coal to generate electricity.

The Labor government passed the carbon price law through the Senate on a vote of 36 to 32. The newly passed legislation will tax carbon emitters starting next July.