Opposition Leader predicts 'people's revolt' in Australia over carbon tax

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.
Image: MystifyMe Concert Photography .

Leader of the Federal Opposition in Australia Tony Abbott has made claims Thursday during Question Time in parliament that a 'people's revolt' is looming based on the Prime Minister Julia Gillard's proposal for a 2012 carbon tax.

In what Mr. Abbott describes as a "betrayal of the Australian people", Ms. Gillard announced Thursday that a price for carbon will be put back on the national agenda, for several years, to be followed by the formation of an emissions trading scheme. In the lead up to the 2010 Federal Australian Election, Ms. Gillard claimed that while she might implement a green house gas reduction scheme, "[she would] rule out a carbon tax".

The price on carbon will be applied to industrial and transport emissions but will not, however, affect Australia's agriculture.

The Prime Minister's announcement resulted in a large portion of Question Time being devoted to the issue with a Member of the Opposition being expelled from the House for disorderly conduct. Mr. Abbot then moved to censure the Prime Minister and conclude Question Time claiming "Nothing is more fake than making a promise to the Australian people before the election and breaking it after the election ... I don't believe it's going to happen because I think there will be a people's revolt. They will see this as an assault on their standard of living, which is exactly what it is".

To which the Prime Minister responded "Increasingly Australians understand that the Liberal Party, under the Leader of the Opposition, is a party of the past with no real policies or plans for the nation's future ... You get judged ultimately in this Parliament by what you decide to do and what you deliver, and on this side of the Parliament we are determined that from July 1 (2012) we will price carbon."

The Opposition claims that the proposed carbon tax will cause petrol prices to rise by A$0.065 per litre while energy bills may increase by $300 per year.