Senators urged to follow commitment to repeal carbon tax

INDUSTRY heavies have urged the Senate to act "swiftly" to repeal the carbon tax, after the Palmer United party confirmed it will help abolish the tax, despite concerns of Senate scrutiny.

The Australian Industry Group, Business Council of Australia and Minerals Council said the delays in repealing the tax had already created "unacceptable costs".

A joint statement from the business lobby groups urged senators, "many of whom were elected on a platform of repealing the carbon tax", to deliver on their commitments.

"Delaying repeal would not achieve anything for the environment, but would simply expose businesses to higher electricity prices and costs they cannot recover from 1 July 2014," the statement reads.

"We require emissions reductions policies that meet the bipartisan emissions reduction target of 5 per cent below 2000 levels by 2020 at least cost; that ensure we maintain competitiveness; and that underpin innovation and long-term investment - particularly in the energy sector."

While Mr Palmer will back the abolition of the tax, he has called for a new emissions trading scheme to be established, despite opposing the government's direct action plan.

But environmental groups have warned against an urgent Senate approval of the carbon tax abolition.

The Climate Institute chief executive John Connor said despite Mr Palmer supporting the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and renewable energy target, the sum total of the package could allow business to "pollute for free".

"The proposals from the PUP remain a heady brew of the good, the uncertain and the ugly," he said.

"The new Senate should take stock before being rushed into a repeal which would have Australia the first country in the world to dismantle a carbon market and return to companies an entitlement to pollute our atmosphere for free."

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