Coalition Threatens Double Dissolution Over Carbon Tax 12

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Tuesday, October 15th, 2013
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Greg Hunt
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The Coalition government has threatened to resort to the expedient of a double dissolution should Labor attempt to thwart its efforts to overturn the carbon tax.

The Coalition is champing at the bit to overturn the carbon tax, with Environment Minister Greg Hunt stating that its repeal will be the new government’s first legislative act when Federal Parliament convenes again in November.

Speaking to reporters Hunt invoked the mandate given by the electorate to the Coalition government for the repeal the carbon tax.

“The Australian public voted to terminate the carbon tax,” Hunt said. “We will not stop until the carbon tax is repealed.”

Labor and the Greens currently control the Senate, however, and new Labor leader Bill Shorten has responded to Hunt’s tossing of the gauntlet by indicating that his party has not shifted its position on the issue.

“We do believe in putting a price on carbon pollution. There’s no free lunches in the world,” said Shorten.

Labor leader Bill Shorten

Shorten was dismissive of Hunt’s claim that the Coalition’s election win gave it an automatic mandate for the carbon tax’s annulment.

“He has a mandate to form a government of Australia, but there is nothing in Australian democracy that says that Labor has to be a rubber stamp for every Coalition proposition,” Shorten said to Fairfax Radio.

In response to potential intransigence over the carbon tax from Labor, the Coalition has re-iterated its pre-election threat to resort to the expedient of a double dissolution election.

Greg Hunt has said that the Coalition does not want to wait until a change in the make-up of the Senate in July of next year, when conservative-leaning members from minor parties will acquire greater influence, to overturn the carbon tax, and that “all options are on the table” when it comes to ensuring its repeal.

Steve Ciobo, Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, has been even more emphatic in his evocation of the measure, stating that the mandate that the Coalition has received from the Australian people would justify a double dissolution.

“[Labor are] not listening to the Australian people. So we’ve indicated that we will go to a double dissolution, and we’ll get the Australian people to have their say for a second time because the Australian people do not want this toxic tax.”

Prominent figures in Australia’s business community have backed the Coalition’s efforts to scrap the carbon tax.

Maria Tarrant, deputy chief executive of the Business Council of Australia, said parliament should respect the decision of the new Coalition government to overturn the tax, while Mitch Hooke, chief executive of the Minerals Council of Australia, said the carbon tax was a “handbrake on growth” which was costing the mining industry over $1.2 billion year and that it “does not deliver an environmental dividend.”

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12
  1. jimbert

    Them senators with their bums on seats already including those that slipped in via the back door will be sweating this issue and rightfully so expect they will be doing backflips to ensure their bums remain in their cushy senate snout in the trough spots.
    Please Mr Prime Minister bring it on so those backdoorers get the boot before they even get seated a because australian voters will be more aware of where their senate vote is actuially going instead of going to these clowns.
    Bring it on baby

  2. Geoff Barry

    Much as I personally like the carbon tax and feel that Australia needs a price on carbon (a number of international business journals point to our carbon tax as an example for the world to follow), the reality we must accept is that voters did largely reject the tax at the election. Many may not like it (myself included) but the reality is that the majority of Australians have spoken and said the tax should go. Labour and The Greens should respect that.

  3. Michael O'Flynn

    This is an ideologically religious based PM and cohort doing the bidding of its sponsors. To believe that our political wasteland is not biased towards big business and other vested unbalanced interest/lobby groups is a tragedy as we step the path towards a polluted elected system such as exists in the USA. I see the National Rifle Association in the US as no different to the Minerals Council of Australia, err actually at least the MCA has well educated members, only the MCA does the bidding of the big miners who really aren’t Australian anymore and thus they don’t give two hoots about our country, simply there bonuses, their short-term share price and where next to have a luxurious holiday, take the yacht, is it Aspen or Vale? etc etc.

    The mandate Tony believes he has is paper thin by any analysis of the actual seat votes and as a democratic representative system, if you take it the way the Lib’s desire, when Rudd and co where in, they should have agreed to the ETS – Oh that’s right, that was a Howard gov’t policy too, and Tony was part of it too…and Malcolm was in fact in good-faith, negotiating its passage through Parliament, until Tony rolled him.

    And just as Tony is an evident buffoon in so many ways, he transcends to his religious training so often in a demonstrably unrepresentative manner, out of step with modern progressive Australia, he is carrying-on just as he did in opposition – that is its his way or no way. Sadly there is no enlightenment from what used to be a intelligent Rhodes scholar! Wisdom comes with age they say and Tony needs more than his fair share, bucket loads for sure!

    Lastly, a price on pollution is a must, despite what the BCA and the MCA say, their arguments are purely economically / profit motive based on behalf of their big miner constituents. They have zero environmental/sustainable credibility and are not representative of the Australian population and in this light the article on Sourceable.net is base reporting at best and wholly unbalanced. I’m not against revisiting the carbon tax/price structure so we retain some international competitiveness, but sticking our head in the sand and ignoring the science can only be highly perilous, irresponsible and poor national risk management.

    Unless we realise we need to share the wealth, protect the land and environment, its a race down the dunny, as we’ll simply not give a stuff about the future, that being our children and theirs and so on. I do and I think most Australians do too, we’ve just been served up another load of unbalanced incompetent political hacks to continue the merry-go-round, sadly. Sure lets’ keep subsiding the mining industry and car industry and the waste of billions of TAXPAYER dollars and do zero for sustainable technology advancement. This is the industry of the future whether we like it or not and Tony’s biggest “WE’LL STOP THE BOATS” achievement will actually be to resolutely “MISS THE BOAT” and push Australia further down the path of growing inequality, poor volume of serious, advanced, value add industries, while the short-term gains go to their mates, wealthy funders and as we’ve all heard ad nauseum, their fellow wedding attendees.

    Strange how if you miss something on your tax, the ATO penalises you, whereas immoral conduct by politicians passes with a mea culpa, repayment, zero penalty, and in other cases repayment and an astonishing statement that they didn’t do anything wrong. This simply says that many politicians believe they are above us and this supports my argument that they are out of touch and unbalanced in so many ways.

    WAKE UP AUSTRALIA THE CLOCK IS TICKING AND IT’S A QUARTER TO MID-NIGHT.

    • Ben AnaRen

      I do agree with you Michael, but the fact is that Mr Tony has the mandate of Australian populace to be the next prime minister, we should respect that. If we are not happy with him, We let him complete his term and boot him out.

      I do agree there should be a price on carbon, the big polluters should pay for their pollution even if they in turn pass the cost to us been the consumers is still ok provided they are aware of the impact and cost of pollution.

      WHAT WE SHOULD DO IS TO COME UP WITH A STATEMENT , WHERE EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US SIGNS THE STATEMENT WHICH WILL THEN BE FORWARDED TO THE SENATE WHEN THEY SEAT, so they will know the impact it will have if they decide to repeal the carbon tax and also let them know GWP is real. And we strongly oppose their decision.

    • Daniel Boon

      You’re right Michael …
      you’re wrong Ben … no mandate, just a vote against Labor … don’t be confused by spin …

  4. Michael O'Flynn

    Our nation needs a new voice – the right one with a balanced equitable view and clear leadership for all, not for just the existing wealthy.

    Letting them, Mr Tony “I was punched one too many times in my heady boxing, umm, university days and this clearly explains my erroneous biased ways when I was in office” Abbott, run their way amounts to massive waste of TAXPAYER $ – Less $ for education, reducing the rates of crime by lifting poverty and inequality, less innovation, more toxins in the air and water full stop. Labor was a progressive bundle of bumbling buffoons, with some smack-on policies and the usual run of mismanagement.

    Tony and the Libs – some of whom know better but are gutless and are plainly off the correct progressive moral framework, can go jump in my mind. I strongly oppose their decision and do not recognise their legitimacy. Let’s get to that statement Ben, for your kids and mine.

  5. Michael O'Connell

    “Mandate” is an interesting term that has really lost it’s meaning in today’s political environment.

    Just because they coalition won the election doesn’t mean the opposition parties have to roll over and agree to everything the coalition wants to do. In fact, they should continue to call the coalition government to account and ensure that good governance prevails.

    The fact is, the elected representatives in both houses are arguing on behalf of their constituents and their party’s political stance. That is how it should be.

    If the coalition wants to invoke a double dissolution because it’s too much effort to argue their changes through the Senate then good luck to them. I don’t like their chances of winning a second time and I would be very surprised if they actually risked it.

  6. Daniel Boon

    When considering the information (now that the dust has somewhat settled) … Hockey is unable to ‘balance the budget’ (instead seeking to raise the debt ceiling a la America) and Labor wasn’t that economically bad … so to say LNP won is less right than Labor lost …

    comparatively … a yapping, snapping and teeth baring little terrier bailing up a group of people (Abbott) will soon be seen for what it is … an annoyance that can easily be dealt with.

    It is delusional to believe that elected representatives (of Labor or LNP et al) argue on behalf of constituents; they follow the party line who get replaced … as the ABC poll showed, most Voters wanted environmental issues addressed and yet where were they from any party … even the Greens …

    In your final comment I agree … by the time such a vote comes about, Abbott & Co will have been weighed, measured and found (way) short …

  7. Rod Cambell-Smith

    I too think that Abbott will tough it out until the new senate sits and then it will ditch the carbon price. He hasn’t got the guts for a double dissolution, especially after what is shaping up to be a disastrous summer of bush fires and possibly more floods. The Southern Oscillation index is neutral and thus this system (ENSO) is not responsible for the unnaturally dry period culminating in the “unprecedentedly” early bush fires. Something else is happening. The CO2 count jumped dramatically in the last year and there is some concern we have triggered runaway rapid climate change. If this is the case it doesn’t matter about the carbon price or much else. So if the rest of this summer is benign he will wait for the new senate. If not, who knows what will happen next?

  8. Daniel Boon

    pre election, Abbot wanted the perception he is representative of change; post election, nothing has changed …. eventually the sheeple with realise they have been duped …. as Forest Gump most eloquently said (quoting his Mumma) ‘ stupid is as stupid does’ …. Abbott is the sharpest tool in a lack-lustre (and compliant) shed … blunt and unsubtle and chosen for that reason … a belligerent little man in a effeminate party of self-serving people …

  9. Sarah-Jane Sherwwod

    I was hopeful, when Christiana Figueres retaliated against Abbott’s carbon tax proposal last week, that international opposition would have a positive effect on our new government. Instead, Greg Hunt used Wikipedia for ‘research’ and confirmed his suspicions that this level of climate change is normal in Australia.

    Of course Mrs Figeures is a woman. Would Abbott and Hunt have the same response if President Obama stepped in?

  10. Rod Cambell-Ross

    Abbott isn’t stupid, but he does give a very good impression of being a total moron. He is a Rhodes scholar and you only get that if you are both intelligent and able. The trouble is that he is also ambitious. And dishonest. That is a very dangerous combination. But Daniel and will probably agree it doesn’t much matter. The storm clouds are looming and it doesn’t much matter whether you zig or zag. It will get you anyway.

    Bush on the other hand is genuinely stupid. But he had the evil Cheney leading him.