News National Carbon tax repeal descends into name calling

Carbon tax repeal descends into name calling

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Prime Minister Tony Abbott has laid the groundwork to repeal the carbon tax, prompting noisy protests from the public gallery.

Mr Abbott was shouted at by protesters in the public gallery and faced labor interjections from across the lower house floor when he introduced a package of repeal bills.

“The Australian people have already voted upon this bill and now the parliament gets its chance,” he said in parliament.

“It delivers on the Coalition’s commitment to the Australian people to scrap this toxic tax.”

Mr Abbott was forced to wait more than an hour to move his signature legislation after Labor used stall tactics in parliament over unrelated matters.

He was further delayed when the opposition interrupted his speech to ask for copies of the legislation before protestors in the public gallery got to their feet and drowned him out.

Speaker Bronwyn Bishop threatened to clear the public gallery if the protests continued.

Labor and the Greens have vowed to block the legislation in the Senate, but business groups have joined forces to pressure them to let it through before the end of the year.

The Government will also introduce legislation today to repeal the mining tax and raise the debt ceiling to $500 billion.

New parliament a nicer place? Not so much

In an early twist, the legislation was delayed as parliament became bogged down in a debate over the coalition’s nickname for Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.

Speaker Bronwyn Bishop ruled the use of “Electricity Bill” in the course of debate was not unparliamentary.

Labor took umbrage, moving a motion of dissent against the ruling.

“If this is going to be a place where name-calling is the order of the day then this house will back your ruling,” manager of opposition business Tony Burke told parliament.

But Labor started the day with a call for Immigration Minister Scott Morrison to front the House of Representatives and explain negotiations with Indonesia over asylum seeker policy. It then became side-tracked by the nickname issue.

Earlier Labor MP Kelvin Thomson stood by his criticism of Ms Bishop who he described as lacking the qualities to help facilitate a “kinder, gentler” tone in federal politics.

“I think Bronwyn has been a very partisan figure over the years,” he told reporters in Canberra before parliament started sitting for the day.

A Speaker won the consent of members by being even-handed, reasonable and prepared to see the other person’s point of view, he said.

Follow all the day’s developments on our live blog.