08 Nov '11, 5am

Australia passes controversial pollution tax, which requires businesses to 'pay to pollute'

SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia's upper house passed a controversial pollution tax on Tuesday in what the government called an 'historic day' after years of bitter debate which felled a sitting prime minister. Cheers and applause broke out as the Senate approved the Clean Energy Act by 36 votes to 32, requiring Australia's coal-fired power stations and other major emitters to 'pay to pollute' from July 1 next year. The laws - 18 in total - will now return for a final vote in the lower house, where they are expected to again be approved after winning approval last month 74 votes to 72. Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Wayne Swan said the passage through the Senate was a 'victory for the optimists and... a defeat for the deniers.' 'Today is an historic day for economic reform,' he said ahead of the vote. 'No longer will the big polluters be able to pump carbon pollution into the...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/World/Story/STIS...

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