Australia's Carbon Tax Is Dead

The cross-benches of the Australian Senate discuss legislation earlier in the week. Photo: Getty

The broken election promise that ended the Gillard Government is now gone too. Just after 11am, the carbon tax was revoked by the Senate, thanks to the support of Clive Palmer’s three new Palmer United Party senators, as well as crossbenchers Ricky Muir, John Madigan, David Leyonhjelm and Bob Day. The PUP senators hugged after the vote.

The Senate just passed the Clean Energy Legislation (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill with a 39-32 vote, a week later than the Abbott Government hoped after Palmer’s senators pulled their vote at the last minute last Thursday. Labor and the Greens voted against. South Australian senator Nick Xenophon was absent.

Greens leader Senator Milne warned the new senators who supported the repeal that it will will be their political legacy.

Coincidentally, the move comes seven years to the week after former prime minister John Howard promised an emissions trading scheme if he was relected, only to be defeated by Kevin Rudd, who declared climate change “the greatest moral challenge of our time” but failing to act on the issue.

The Senate rises at the end of the week and now does not have legislation to deal with climate change because there is no time left to debate the government’s proposed Direct Action plan, which currently lacks the crossbench support to pass the Senate anyway.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has said he will take an emissions trading scheme plan to the next election.

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