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Australia's carbon tax will pass parliament despite minority gov't: Treasurer


09:22, August 29, 2011

CANBERRA, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- Australian federal Treasurer Wayne Swan on Sunday said the carbon tax will pass parliament, even though there's a minority government.

Swan noted that the May federal budget, the first under the minority government arrangement, passed more quickly than any of Swan's previous budgets.

He said the carbon price legislation, due to be introduced in the next sitting period in September, would be no different.

"It will go to the parliament, it will be debated and it will pass," he told Sky News on Sunday.

"We've had a particularly difficult political debate surrounding all that but the record speaks for itself."

Swan said passing the carbon tax will show the world Australia has clear policy goals.

There have been oppositions to the carbon tax, saying that Australia should not impose the tax ahead of a global agreement, and the move will hurt export industry, as well as to slow growth and lower living standard.

However, Swan said extreme interpretation of economic data by sections of the media was not helping confidence in Australia's economy.

"That does send a difficult message into the lounge rooms and kitchens of Australia where people are sitting there and saying on the one hand we're talking about a resources boom and strong investment pipeline and on the other what they see is a lot of uncertainty and turbulence in the international economy," he said.

"We don't need some of the more extreme interpretations that we see in the media ... that when a piece of data comes out we get the downside interpretation of that data and we get it multiplied by 10."

The 24.5 U.S. dollars a ton of carbon tax will start from July 1, 2012. The tax is set to increase 2.5 percent each year for three years, and will switch to Emissions Trading Scheme in 2015.

As a result of last year's Aug. 21 federal election, Labor party secured support from the Greens and three independent members to form minority government.


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