Carbon Tax one step closer to becoming law in Australia

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 13th October 2011

The Australian Government claims that Australia has pushed to the forefront of the environmental movement this week by passing the historically momentous Clean Energy Bill, popularly dubbed the “carbon tax”.

The Australian Labour Party government, in alliance with the Greens and Independents, mustered the numbers to pass the legislation through the lower house of Federal Parliament. The Australian Labor Party won the vote on the 18 carbon tax bills 74 to 72. The Clean Energy Bill will now have to be passed by the Federal Senate to become law.

The Bill aims to put a price on carbon pollution, promote investment in renewable and clean energy technologies and support action to reduce carbon pollution on the land. However, opponents of the Bill claim it is simply a revenue raising measure that will not benefit the environment.

If the Bill is passed by the Federal Senate, from July 2012 a fixed carbon price of A$23 per tonne will be imposed, rising at 2.5 per cent each year until 2015 when there will be a floating price.

According to Treasury’s recent carbon price model, the largest price increases will be for goods with a high emission intensity, such as electricity and gas. Most other products, such as food, will hardly be affected.

Australian Food News has previously reported on the Australian Food and Grocery Council decrying the Federal Government’s carbon tax proposal, saying it will increase the cost of food and grocery manufacturing in Australia.