Federal

Oct 12, 2011

Mirabella helps pass carbon tax

Crikey media wrap: Despite Tony Abbott declaring he will kill the carbon price if elected, PM Julia Gillard will today get Australia's first significant policy to cut carbon emissions passed through parliament.

Amber Jamieson — Freelance journalist in New York

Amber Jamieson

Freelance journalist in New York

Despite Tony Abbott declaring he will kill the carbon price if elected, Prime Minister Julia Gillard will today get Australia's first significant policy to cut carbon emissions passed through parliament. Gillard dismissed Tony Abbott's claims, insisting that he wouldn't throw out pension increases, tax cuts and other carbon tax assistances if elected. Gillard told parliament: "... his so-called promise to repeal a price on carbon is just nonsense. He will not repeal a price on carbon if he is ever elected as prime minister. He will not do that because more than half of his political party supports putting a price on carbon." Abbott talked back just as big. On AM this morning he said he would "pledge in blood" that a Coalition government would repel the carbon tax. Abbott has been calling for the government to take the carbon tax to an election. Abbott will have to kill the carbon price if he becomes PM, even if that's a bad idea, says Lenore Taylor in The Sydney Morning Herald:
"Having built his leadership so successfully on opposition to the tax and keeping political promises, Abbott can never accept it. And perversely, his solemn promise to repeal it will prolong the investment uncertainty the carbon tax is supposed to solve."
But as Michelle Grattan and David Wroe reported in The Age: "Some in the Coalition privately believe it would be too hard to repeal the carbon plan, which starts next July: a Coalition government could find repeal blocked by the Senate." Grattan and Wroe also noted that Malcolm Turnbull, who supported Kevin Rudd's emissions trading scheme, was the only Coalition frontbencher not to speak on the bill, although he is forced to vote against the carbon tax bill to keep his front bench position. Although it's a little easier for the government to get the carbon tax bill through the lower house after Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella was kicked out of the house for 24 hours yesterday. She defied deputy speaker -- and Liberal colleague -- Peter Slipper and the house voted to suspend her until 10.30pm tonight. This means Mirabella will be unable to vote on the carbon tax bills put forth today. The Greens yesterday agreed to support the $300 million steel transformation plan, which will allow steel companies including BlueScope and OneSteel to qualify for handouts even if they fire staff and cut production by 77%. Amongst the constant media chatter about a possible return to Kevin Rudd as PM, Phillip Hudson noted one important difference in the Herald Sun: "Julia Gillard is on track to do what Kevin Rudd couldn't achieve and get federal parliament to approve a plan to fight climate change." This policy is a big deal and it's taken 20 years to get here, says Tim Colebatch in The Age:
"There are lots of political reasons why each party is where it is in this debate. But the main reason why Labor, the Greens and most of the independents have united to introduce a carbon tax is that the light-touch stuff is not slowing emissions enough. We need to start the heavy lifting, in the cheapest way."
After the final vote on the carbon tax bill today, it will head to the Senate early November.

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24 comments

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24 thoughts on “Mirabella helps pass carbon tax

  1. Son of foro

    Did TA actually pledge in blood on the radio this morning? He’s quite the man. Still, he is fond of changing his mind, which we should always remember next time he goes about bleeding all over ABC studios:

    “Well, Laurie, when I made that statement, in the election campaign, I had not the slightest inkling that there would ever be any intention to change this. But obviously when circumstances change, governments do change their opinions, and that is actually the responsible course of action.”

  2. Xavier Buttonpress

    Could Mirabella’s misbehavoir have been deliberate? What if the coalition knowing that they couldn’t block the carbon tax, deliberately setting up numbers so that the government could pass their migration act amendments through the lower house? Then, whilst they bombard the media with how the carbon tax is going to destroy the country and it wasn’t a fair vote anyway because the government had poor old Sophie kicked out so she couldn’t vote, they can then quietly pass it through the senate because secretly the opposition quite like the amendments (and possibly legally require them for their own policies)?

  3. Ruprecht

    PM Gillard is like a mum making us eat our vegies — amidst a lot of grumbling and complaining, it gets done and it is good for us whether we know it or not.

  4. joe2

    Bills passed and the only blood on the floor is Tony’s. Na, with him, it’s more likely tomato sauce.

  5. skink

    is it over now?

    can we get back to the important stuff, like asylum seekers and Kevin Rudd: The Phantom Menace?

  6. TheTruthHurts

    [“Then, whilst they bombard the media with how the carbon tax is going to destroy the country and it wasn’t a fair vote anyway because the government had poor old Sophie kicked out so she couldn’t vote, they can then quietly pass it through the senate because secretly the opposition quite like the amendments (and possibly legally require them for their own policies)?”]

    LOLZ.

    More like a rope-the-dope scenario where the Libs let the migration bill get through the lower house only to be blocked by Labors mates in the Senate.

    It will then be up to Labor to explain why they can’t get the Greens to vote for their legislation in the Senate.

  7. mark longhurst

    sadly every time mirabella opens her mouth it is just vacuous white noise just like gillard and that othergreens chick -whatsername? who cares

  8. Son of foro

    The Spoof Flirts is back with some more political genius!

    Fresh from his ‘double dip recession’ prediction – hopefully he’ll make a pledge in blood to repeal that recession we didn’t have to have – he cunningly concludes that Labor is unaware of numbers in the Sentate. Machiavelli has nothing on this political giant!

    #[email protected]

  9. GocomSys

    It is fascinating to watch how the ever more hectic 24 hour “Infotainment” cycle now incorporates daily “political performance statements” and the “weekly opinion polls”.
    What’s next?

  10. leone

    It’s worth mentioning that only 57 Coalition MPs voted against Ms Mirabella’s suspension. What happened to the rest? Apparently Chief Opposition Whip Warren Entsch allowed some of his MPs to have an early night ahead of today’s vote. I bet he regrets that decision now.
    More at http://www.vexnews.com/2011/10/losing-it-sophie-mirabella-gets-a-much-needed-holiday/

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