Australia’s carbon bills

The Australian government this week introduced to parliament a package of bills to regulate carbon. The government is a Labor minority, backed by Greens and independents. Labor is not doing well in polls (this is an understatement), and would lose to the Coalition (of Liberal and National) were there a new election for the House of Representatives.

The Coalition has promised to scrap the laws if they have passed before the next election (which is, presumably, likely). The Climate Change Minister, Greg Combet, has pointed out that the Coalition’s promise is “silly“. As reported in

The business community would be likely to be telling Mr Abbott [Coalition leader] once the legislation was in place and the scheme had commenced that carbon pricing was necessary to understand the nature of investment decisions and gauge expected returns, Mr Combet said.

2 thoughts on “Australia’s carbon bills

  1. If you believe the opposition there has been no greater threat to western civilisation as we know it since the hosts of Suleiman the Magnificent stood at the gates of Vienna.

    Both houses in Australia use a pairing system. Proxies are not permitted but the government and opposition can agree that if one MHR is absent one of the other side’s MHRs will not vote. The opposition has effectively suspended this convention. (See Suleiman the Magnificent and ‘Fear! Fire! Foes!’ above)
    They did relent to the extent that one Labor MHR will get a pair for the birth of his son.

    How do most legislatures handle proxies/pairing etc etc?

  2. There is a small chance the bills will not pass. Craig Thomson, Labor MHR for Dobell appears to be at some risk of prosecution for receiving secret commissions while secretary of the Health Services Union. The NSW Police dismissed a previous allegation of fraudulent credit card use. He would lose his seat on conviction, and whether he could legitimately retain it once charged is an open question.

    The ALP’s senior vice-president, who is a subject in the same investigation, has already resigned.The HSU has disaffiliated from the ALP.

    The government would almost certainly lose a by-election in Dobell and may try to secure a general election as an alternative to a by-election. They have proposed a fairly outrageous bill on refugees which will almost certainly be rejected and may be being thought of as reason to wait upon the governor-general.

    Oddly enough Thomson is the same MHR the opposition threatened not to pair for his child’s birth.

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