Legislation to repeal Australia’s carbon-price mechanism, rejected by the upper house today, will be re-introduced in parliament and should pass next week, the government said.
“The government will continue to pursue its repeal,” Leader in the Senate Eric Abetz told media in Canberra today. Today’s rejection in the upper house was a “technical issue” that will be overcome by reintroducing the laws in the lower house on July 14, he said.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s bid to repeal Australia’s climate change laws stalled after lawmaker Clive Palmer said his party wouldn’t support the legislation in its current form. The mining magnate’s move delays Abbott’s bid to dismantle a mechanism introduced by the previous Labor government in July 2012 that initially charged polluters A$23 ($22) a metric ton of greenhouse gases emitted, before rising every year until it was due to shift to a market-set mechanism from July 2015.
Abbott has said abolishing the levy will save the typical household about A$550 a year through lower electricity prices in the nation, the world’s biggest emitter of fossil fuels per capita. Australia, the world’s 12th-largest economy, will still be able to meet its promised 5 percent reduction in emissions by 2020 after the repeal, the government says.
Palmer has three Palmer United Party senators, meaning Abbott needs the party’s support to pass laws. Palmer’s proposed amendments to the carbon-price repeal legislation would toughen penalties on companies that don’t pass on savings from the repeal to consumers and businesses. While the government supports the amendments, they were withdrawn today due to advice from the Senate clerk, Abetz said.