Australian prime minister hopes Parliament will pass bills dumping carbon tax by Christmas

CANBERRA, Australia – Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Tuesday he hoped Parliament would pass legislation dumping Australia’s carbon tax by Christmas.

Abbott revealed that Parliament would sit on Nov. 11 for the first time since his conservative coalition won government at elections on Sept. 7.

High on the agenda will be bills to repeal the carbon tax paid by Australia’s worst industrial polluters.

The legislation would be sure to pass the House of Representative, where the government holds a clear majority. But the outcome is uncertain in the Senate, where no party holds a majority of seats.

“I would like the Senate to consider this matter as quickly as possible,” Abbott told reporters, adding that he wanted the Senate vote before Christmas.

The unpopular carbon tax was introduced by the former centre-left Labor Party government and has been levied since July 2012.

Labor leader Bill Shorten stands by the tax which is designed to curb Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. Australia is among the world’s worst carbon gas emitters on a per capita basis.

Abbott plans to end the tax from July 2014.

Electricity bills would fall by 9 per cent and gas prices by 7 per cent with the tax gone, Abbott said.

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