The Australian House of Representatives has passed the government’s carbon tax bill by a vote of 74-72. To paraphrase Joe Biden, this is a B.F.D.
The measure still must pass the Senate, but there the Labor government and Greens combine for a large majority, so it is not in doubt. The House, where Labor has a minority and there is only one Green MP, was where the result was uncertain.
The Green leader, Bob Brown, has claimed that his party was right to block the previous Labor PM Kevin Rudd’s emissions trading scheme, because the now-passed measures offer “so much more” than the previous proposal.
On the other side, opposition leader Tony Abbot has made a “pledge in blood” to repeal it if his Coalition wins the next election. Brown, the Green, does not think the threat is credible. “We’ll be winning more lower house seats, and we’ll be winning a stronger hold in the Senate,” he predicted.