The Federal Government’s controversial carbon tax was introduced into parliament today with Labor hoping to have it passed by next month.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has thrown down the gauntlet to the opposition, saying it will be judged by history if it votes against it.

Ben Crock reports.


Julia Gillard says the time for debate on climate change is over.

Julia Gillard, Prime Minister: “This is a debate our nation has been having for more than a decade.”

The opposition says the government’s time line to pass the eighteen carbon tax bills doesn’t give MPs enough time to debate the issue.

Greg Hunt, Shadow Climate Minister: “We have less than one minute per member per bill.”

Greens MP Adam Bandt argues the thirty five hours of parliament time between now and the proposed passing of the bills is enough.

Despite the controversy the tax has caused, the treasurer believes it’s in the public interest.

Wayne Swan, Treasurer: “It’s about time we got this done and I think that’s what the Australian public want us to do.”

The Climate Change Minister is confident the bill will be accepted.

Greg Combet, Climate Change Minister: “I predict, I hope indeed that the sun will come up on the first of July and life will go on.”

About five hundred polluters would pay the tax, fixed at twenty three dollars a tonne.

Ben Crock, QUT News.