09 November 2011
POLITICIANS from both sides of the political divide agree on one thing about the carbon tax – its passing in the federal parliament was historic.
The Senate yesterday voted to approve the carbon tax, which will come into effect from July next year.
Bendigo MP Steve Gibbons, who voted on the legislation in the lower house last month, said central Victorians would receive benefits from the tax.
He said it was time multi-national mining conglomerates paid a fair share for the minerals they removed from Australian soil.
“It is a significant achievement – it is major reform and the sky has not fallen in and it won’t. I am particularly pleased given the depth of the scare campaign of the opposition and this will have big benefits… for the long-term,” Mr Gibbons said.
“It will be a modest start to deal with climate change and once the investment in renewables is delivered, that is when we will see big inroads.
“Once the compensation package comes in it will compensate for very modest increases in prices.”
The vote passed the Senate 36 to 32.
The tax will apply to the 500 biggest polluters before the nation moves into an emissions trading scheme in 2015.
The $23-a-tonne price on carbon will rise 2.5 per cent each year until 2015.
Household expenses will rise on average $9.90 a week but will be offset by $10.10 in compensation.
Bendigo-based Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie said the vote had hardened her resolve to campaign against the tax.
She said small business and regional Australians would be hardest hit by the tax.
“I think it is historic but it is not satisfying,” Ms McKenzie said.
“I have been able to register (my) protest but what I am here to do is make a difference.
“We are going to the next election seeking a mandate.
“Do you want this (tax) or don’t you and I think the Australian people have been clear about what they think… this is a direct attack on the regions and small business.”
The government hopes pollution will fall 80 per cent by 2050.