Toby Abbott’s proposed $70 million plebiscite bill will read “Are you in favour of a law to impose a carbon tax?” A plebiscite, which sounds like a medical condition, is similar to a referendum but voting is optional and is non-binding. The Coalition will lodge notices of motion in the House of Representatives and the Senate today. Will the Independents come to the aid of the party?
Nick Xenophon has hinted he would support it and Family First Senator Steve Fielding is a known climate sceptic but as usual, it will be left up to the three independents - Andrew Wilkie, Rob Oakeshott or Tony Windsor - to decide the issue in the house.
Abbott said "It wouldn't be cheap, but let's not forget that this is an $11.5 billion a year tax that the prime minister wants to impose on people, a tax that she wasn't honest about before the last election." Asked if he expected to gain the support of cross bench MPs, Mr Abbott said: "In the end, it's their call.