The 8th of November, 2011: an historic day for Australia, the day the federal Senate approved a price on pollution, 36 votes to 32.
The Labour party’s clean-energy package will be rolled out from July next year, with a carbon tax for the country’s 500 biggest polluters initially set at the (world’s highest) fixed price of $23 per tonne. From 2015, Australia will introduce a full emissions trading scheme.
The package has been criticised by the far left as unambitious and by the far right as a “betrayal of the Australian people”. We can say nothing more to the right other than we hope you don’t find your way to power in these crucial first years. To the left, we say that any project worth undertaking is not achieved with one giant leap, but with many small steps – a limited carbon tax is no giant leap, but it is an excellent first step in the right direction.
Julia Gillard, kudos.