Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Andrew Wilkie Sets out Conditions to Support Carbon Tax

JULIA Gillard can secure the final vote she needs to pass the carbon tax if she promises to protect a zinc mine in Hobart.

Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie last night met the Prime Minister to discuss his terms after she won support from the Greens and independents Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor for the package.

Mr Wilkie also wants to make Tasmania a renewable energy hub and guarantee compensation for low-income earners.

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Ms Gillard last night called premiers to postpone a planned meeting next week on health reform. It will allow her to go on a national tour to sell the carbon tax.

Government MPs and staff yesterday were briefed to be on a "war footing" for a major campaign after the package was unveiled on Sunday. The PM will make a televised address to the nation on Sunday night.

Ms Gillard said she would spend next week directly answering questions from the public.

"I will be wearing out my shoe leather, literally," she told Parliament.

Victorian Liberal Kelly O'Dwyer, from Higgins, challenged the PM to attend a town hall meeting in her electorate.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said the PM was "running away from scrutiny" by refusing to announce it before Parliament began a five-week recess tomorrow.

He wrote to Ms Gillard and urged her to recall Parliament next week.

Liberal climate spokesman Greg Hunt said: "When it comes to cost of living, this will be Sunday bloody Sunday."


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