Independent Senator Nick Xenophon said on Monday that he would not stand in the way of a repeal of the carbon tax if Opposition leader Tony Abbott becomes the next prime minister of Australia.
However, Mr Xenophon's support is based on a satisfactory alternative to the carbon tax.
"The question is, we need to have a sensible, robust debate in this country... what is the most effective way of reducing emissions, in economic terms, in terms of getting your best environmental bang for your buck...," News.com.au quoted the independent senator.
Mr Xenophon described the Labor-back carbon tax as a "pretty awful policy." The Gillard government will start collecting a carbon tax of $23 per tonne from the top 500 polluters in Australia beginning July 1. By 2015, the carbon price will become a market-based emission trading system as Australia aims to meet its target of cutting 150 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.
Besides Mr Xenophon, another independent MP, Bob Katter, said he is supporting the move by the Coalition to repeal the carbon tax.
"It is impossible to build and grow this country and be a development country under the carbon tax... This will be the death of what's left of many Australian industries and we will absolutely vote to get rid of it," The Australian quoted Mr Katter.
"(The Coalition) have got their direct action plan, which itself is quite clunky and inefficient in economic terms. So I will be pushing for good policy that will minimise the economic impacts and maximise any good environmental impacts," Mr Xenophon explained to The Australian.
To make the carbon tax more acceptable to Aussies, the Gillard government launched last week a multi-million media campaign to explain the cash payouts to residents as part of the benefits of a carbon tax. Despite these sweeteners, the carbon tax is seen as a cause of the declining popularity of the Labor Party, which according to latest polls, would likely lose if an election would be held now.
The latest Galaxy poll said Labor's primary vote in Queensland tumbled down to 23 per cent, the lowest level on record. Kevin Rudd is also perceived to be a better choice of prime minister over Ms Gillard.
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