PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The newly elected Liberal government has released draft legislation to repeal the carbon tax.
The move was in line with the party’s election commitment of abolishing the much-contested carbon tax as its first act in Parliament.
The Tony Abbott-led government said on Tuesday that the early repeal of the carbon tax would reduce costs for Australian businesses and manufacturers, boost growth, increase jobs and ease cost of living pressures on households.
“This legislation will be the first Bill considered by the new Parliament. It is a Bill designed to not only keep the government's commitments, but to do the right thing by the people of Australia,” Abbot said in Canberra.
The repeal Bills would remove the carbon tax, end the carbon tax on fuels used in shipping, rail and air transport and on synthetic greenhouse gases.
The Climate Change Authority will also be abolished.
“Abolishing the carbon tax will improve Australia’s international competitiveness, which was being undermined by the unfair hit on business,” the Prime Minister said, adding that the legislation would give the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission further powers to take action against businesses that engage in price exploitation following the repeal of the carbon tax.
The Queensland resources sector was the first to welcome the release of the draft legislation, saying it would assist in restoring the confidence of the Queensland coal industry, which was confronting the toughest operating environment in more than a decade.
Queensland Resources Council acting CEO Greg Lane said on Tuesday that the biggest impost for the Australian coal industry was the country’s unique approach of applying the carbon price to unavoidable fugitive methane emissions released during coal mining, with the country’s coal mines currently paying the world's highest price on carbon – some A$24.15/t in 2013/14.
“Queensland’s coal industry will remain at a competitive disadvantage in the global market place while this tax that delivers no environmental gain, stays in place,” Lane said.
Abbot was expecting to pass the legislation by the end of the year.