Historic vote turns Australia carbon tax into law

The Sydney Morning Herald reports in a major policy victory for Australia’s Gillard government’s controversial carbon pricing scheme has passed parliament with Labor and the Australian Greens forcing the 18 so-called clean energy bills through the Senate.

The laws – fiercely opposed by the country’s mining sector which says it will lead to more than 20 mine closures and cost thousands of jobs – will force Australia’s top 500 polluting companies to pay a tax of $24.50/tonne on carbon emissions from July 2012. On top of the carbon tax set to kick in mid-2012, Australian miners also have to contend with the new minerals resource rent tax set at an effective 22.5% rate on the so-called super-profits of the extractive industries.

SMH reports the legislation was passed unamended, which means it is now set to become law. SMH adds that it has been the most divisive policy in recent political history, contributing to the downfall of two opposition leaders and one prime minister, rousing ordinary Australians in their thousands to public rallies both for and against it, and helping sink the government that has advanced it to record opinion poll lows. Quarry processing equipment

Xinhua quotes Greens leader Bob Brown: “What we are doing here today is legislating … to hold back the great nemesis of climate change for the whole future of humanity and indeed our millions of fellow species on this planet. People 50 or 500 years from now will thank us for the passage of this legislation.” sbm thickener

MINING.com reported in September Australian Coal Association said $1.3 billion in proposed government compensation would delay by only one year the premature closure of four of the 21 mines that an industry survey found were under threat from the government’s carbon tax. concrete plant

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