12 Oct 2011

Australian lower House passes carbon tax bills

12:15 pm on 12 October 2011

The Australian House of Representatives has passed the Government's controversial carbon tax legislation.

The conclusive vote on the package of bills was greeted with applause from the government benches, with Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd hugging Prime Minister Julia Gillard as MPs mingled on the floor of the chamber.

The bills had majority support anyway, but the Government's position was boosted on Tuesday night when Opposition frontbencher Sophie Mirabella was thrown out of the House for 24 hours for defying the Speaker.

Opposition leader Tony Abbott has "pledged in blood" to repeal the carbon tax laws if his party forms a government. He told the ABC programme AM: "I am giving you the most definite commitment any politician can give that this tax will go. This is a pledge in blood. This tax will go."

But with the Greens holding the balance of power in the Senate, the legislation will not be repealed unless Mr Abbott, if he wins government, calls a double-dissolution election and wins a majority of Senate seats.