The first of the Abbott government’s bills to scrap the carbon tax has been rejected by parliament as the Senate continues what the coalition argues is an “industrial go slow”, according to The Telegraph News.
It was reported yesterday that Labor and the Australian Greens used their combined numbers in the upper house to knock back a bill to dismantle the independent Climate Change Authority.
The government vowed to abolish the authority as an election pledge, arguing it was an unnecessary climate change bureaucracy introduced by the Gillard Government.
The package of repeal bills passed the lower house in last November, but has bogged down in Senate debate ever since.
The move has frustrated the government, which has been pressuring the Senate for months to get out of the way and pass its package of bills to unwind the Gillard Government’s Carbon Tax laws.
Labor insists on the replacement of an emissions trading scheme with a floating price, rather than the government’s alternative direct action plan for combating climate change.
Environment Minister Greg Hunt accused Labor of snubbing voters by ignoring the election outcome, and called on Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to back off in the Senate.
The government is hoping for smoother sailing when the new Senate takes over in July, when it might get its first real opportunity to see its legislation pass.
But the Greens hope a re-run of the West Australian Senate election in April will result in fewer coalition senators elected to the upper house.
Greens leader Christine Milne said the future of the Climate Change Authority depended on the makeup of the Senate post-July, but for now the minor party is claiming victory.
“I am delighted that today the Senate has defeated Tony Abbott’s push to try and tear apart a science-based recommendation and go with his anti-science obsession,” she told reporters in Canberra.
Related news: Senate frustrates bid to scrap carbon tax