Australia scraps carbon tax

Repealed: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been able to follow up on his pre-election promise of scrapping the previous government's carbon tax

The body representing Australia’s upstream industry has welcomed the abolishment of the country’s controversial carbon tax.

The move was welcomed by the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA), with chief executive David Byers saying it removed a cost facing liquefied natural gas exporters that did not exist for their international competitors competing in global markets.

“Surging LNG demand in Asia presents an enormous opportunity for Australia. However rising development costs raise doubts about the attractiveness of continued investment in Australian projects,” he said.

“While initiatives are being taken within the industry to address cost competitiveness, it is good to see policy action that removes costs for trade-exposed producers.

“APPEA supports a national climate change policy that delivers emissions reduction at least cost while recognising the greenhouse benefits that flow from a prosperous and vibrant natural gas industry.”

Prime Minister Tony Abbott made a pre-election promise to repeal the tax which was brought in under the previous Gillard-led Labor government in 2012.

It took three attempts to get the repeal bills through the Senate after initially failing to garner the support of  the Palmer United Party (PUP), led by Australian mining magnate Clive Palmer.

Palmer had initially supported the scrapping of the tax but left the government red faced when his party surprisingly sided with Labor and the Greens in blocking the repeal bills.

Palmer accused the government of “double crossing” his party over an amendment to ensure that savings made by big business from the repeal of the tax was passed on to consumers.

However, the PUP threw its support back behind the bill when the government agreed to Palmer’s amendments and the Australian Senate voted 39-32 on Thursday to scrap the carbon pricing scheme.

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