Australia’s new conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott Wednesday moved to abolish a carbon tax designed to combat climate change as his first major economic reform since taking office.
Abbott said the September 7 election which he won decisively had been a referendum on the future of the tax which was imposed by the former Labor government on major polluters from 2012 in a bid to reduce carbon emissions.
“No one should be in any doubt — the government is repealing the carbon tax in full,” he said as he introduced a bill to repeal the tax into parliament.
“We are doing what we were elected to do. We have said what we mean and we will do what we say — the carbon tax goes. It goes.”
Scrapping the divisive tax was a central election promise of Abbott who had argued the cost of the levy was passed on to consumers, resulting in higher utility bills and day-to-day costs.
“The intention of the new government is to put power prices down by axing this toxic tax and by using other means to reduce emissions,” he said.
“This is our bill to reduce your bills, to reduce the bills of the people of Australia.”
Abbott also said the removal of the tax would strengthen the economy of Australia, which is among the world’s worst per capita polluters due to its reliance on coal-fired power and mining exports.
The carbon tax had charged the country’s biggest polluters for their emissions at a fixed price and was due to transition to an emissions trading scheme.
The new government instead favours a “direct action” plan that includes an incentive fund to pay companies to increase their energy efficiency, a controversial sequestration of carbon in soil scheme, and the planting 20 million trees.
Abbott had earlier been forced to wait for about an hour to move the legislation after Labor, which opposes the dismantling of the tax, stalled proceedings with debate about the government’s nickname for opposition leader Bill Shorten.
The prime minister had referred to his opposition counterpart as “Electricity” Bill Shorten during a media interview earlier in the day, a moniker attacked by Labor as “name-calling”.
Then as he began to move the bill, Abbott was interrupted by yelling protesters in the public gallery.
“Inaction (on climate) is simply not good enough,” shouted one protester, one of more than a dozen removed from the chamber.
The government also introduced a bill to repeal the mining tax — a levy once proposed as a 40 percent tax on “super profits” within the industry but which was ultimately greatly reduced in size and scope after a backlash from the mining sector.
[Image via Agence France-Presse]
Watch Rachel Maddow broadcast ‘exclusive story’ that undermines Mike Pence’s claims
MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on Monday presented an "exclusive story" -- that undermines public claims by the Trump administration.
Vice President Mike Pence has been among the biggest defenders of the detention camps the administration is running near the southern border.
Pence has described the treatment of detainees as "compassionate" and "excellent."
But that was not what Maddow reported on Monday.
"You haven’t seen this anywhere else," she introduced. "This is the first time this has been broadcast."
The story was an exclusive interview NBC News correspondent Julia Ainsley conducted with a child refugee from Guatemala who was held in one of the camps for eleven days.
WATCH: 10 videos show massive flooding hitting Brooklyn and New Jersey after torrential downpour
A massive flood is once again striking parts of New York City and New Jersey Monday as the heatwave gave way to a torrential downpour.
The storm moved through after 6 p.m. EST, dropping several inches of rain in a short period and causing immense flash flooding during rush hour. Commuters reported unusually large crowds on subway platforms, water flowing down subway stairs and huge leaks in the ceilings.
Airports were also dealing with the storm blowing through with time delays at LaGuardia, JFK and the Newark Airports.
Some folks took the flood in stride, bringing out pool toys to ride the waves:
Protesters take to the streets outside judge’s home after he approves controversial jail sentence for black judge
On Monday, angry crowds of people came to the neighborhood of Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Patrick Dinkelacker after he ordered former judge Tracie Hunter to serve a six-month prison sentence for mishandling a confidential document.
The scenes from the courtroom were dramatic, with Hunter's supporters screaming as she collapsed upon Dinkelacker upholding the sentence, and officers dragging her limp figure from the courtroom: