Australia's carbon tax may never become reality: independent MP

12:14, April 14, 2011      

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The Australian federal government could struggle to get its carbon tax through parliament, as key independent Member of Parliament (MP) Tony Windsor on Thursday warned the plan may never become a reality.

Windsor, who is one of the independents Prime Minister Julia Gillard will rely on to get her carbon tax pass the Parliament, said while climate action will benefit the bush, he will not "vote for something that does nothing".

"There is no carbon tax, there may not be a carbon tax," he told ABC News on Thursday morning.

"The prime minister doesn't have the numbers, as I understand it at the moment.

"I have a vote, others do as well, so you can never guarantee something before it gets through a minority parliament."

Windsor said people in his rural New South Wales electorate were concerned about the lack of detail around the proposed carbon tax.

Gillard played down his comments, saying that Windsor, who sits on the multi-party climate change committee, had been "perfectly consistent" in his approach to the carbon price debate.

"He does believe climate change is real ... that pricing carbon is the best way, an important way, of tackling climate change," Gillard told ABC Radio on Thursday.

"(But) he's going to look at the (legislative) package and wait to the end and then judge (it)."

Gillard added that the Labor government remains determined to introduce a carbon tax from mid-2012 followed by an emissions trading scheme.

Source: Xinhua
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