11 Dec 2013

Carbon tax repeal hits Senate roadblock

7:40 am on 11 December 2013

Plans by the federal government in Australia to scrap the previous government's carbon tax have hit a roadblock in the Senate roadblock.

The first bill was rejected on Tuesday and AAP reports there is little hope the upper house will decide on the full package of bills before next year.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has called on the Senate to vote on his package of 11 bills to remove the carbon tax before parliament adjourns for a summer break on Thursday night.

But Labor and the Greens remain opposed to the bills, giving the federal government little chance of pushing the package through parliament until new Senators take their seats from 1 July, 2014.

"Given that people feel very strongly about this, and a number of people are likely to speak, it's unlikely there would be a resolution on the suite of bills by the end of the week," Greens leader Christine Milne said on Tuesday.

AAP reports debate on the package has been tortuously slow, with the opposition and Greens opting for debate on each individual piece of legislation.

The first bill of the package was voted down on Tuesday when Labor and Greens joined forces to reject a bill to scrap the Clean Energy Finance Corporation after a debate lasting more than 10 hours.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said abolition of the corporation was a priority for the government and a commitment Mr Abbott took to the September 7 election.

The government had the support of voters who rejected Labor at the election, he said.

Debate was adjourned on a second bill to abolish the Climate Change Authority, which was set up to recommend carbon emissions targets.

AAP reports the government could use the bills as triggers for a double-dissolution election if they are rejected a second time after a three-month interval.