The West Australian:
Battlelines have already been drawn for the next Parliament, with Labor’s most influential figures vowing to oppose Tony Abbott’s core pledge to abolish the carbon tax.
As business groups swung behind the Prime Minister-elect to demand Labor respect Mr Abbott’s “clear mandate”, outgoing deputy prime minister Anthony Albanese and senior Labor MPs said they had their own mandate to protect.
Mr Abbott emphasised his carbon mandate claim when he met the secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Ian Watt, in Sydney yesterday to receive the incoming Government brief, or Blue Book.
“Obviously, a very early item of business is scrapping the carbon tax,” Mr Abbott told Dr Watt before television cameras.
“There’s border security. There’s economic security and the people expect, quite rightly, that the incoming Government will build a strong and prosperous economy for a safe and secure Australia.”
The coalition is on track to win 89 seats, compared with 57 for Labor, one Green, one for the Palmer United Party (its leader Clive Palmer) and two independents.
The Senate looms as a negotiator’s nightmare. There might there be two senators representing Mr Palmer’s party, alongside senators from the Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party, the Australian Sports Party, the Liberal Democratic Party and Family First.
The final Senate result won’t be known until next week.
Greens leader Christine Milne, whose party lost 3.3 per cent primary support in the election, said the carbon pricing legislation would be defended in the Senate.
This means the Abbott Government would require Labor’s help but Mr Albanese ruled this out.
“We are absolutely going to defend taking action on climate change – I could not look my son in the eye and walk away from taking action on climate change,” he said. “We have supported an emissions trading scheme for a very long time. We have that mandate and I see no reason why we should walk away from our legacy.”
Labor frontbencher Mark Butler agreed.
“We won’t be rolling over,” he said. “We won’t be throwing overboard positions we have held on climate change for a very, very long time.”
The Minerals Council of Australia said the carbon tax was a dead weight on the economy.
“Abolishing the carbon tax and minerals resource rent tax will be a positive first step in an industry where our international competitors face no such comparable imposts,” MCA boss Mitch Hooke said.