The Australian people voted for Labor to achieve action on climate change despite her promise there would be no carbon tax, Prime Minister Julia Gillard says.
Ms Gillard tipped a hard debate on the government's proposed carbon price with the opposition mounting a vocal fear campaign.
"The Australian people voted for this parliament and this parliament gives us an opportunity to price carbon and we should. It's the right time to do it," she told ABC television on Thursday night.
"I think Australians voted for action on climate change. I believe Australians are persuaded of the science of climate change. The science is in and they want to see us get on with it."
During the election campaign last year, Ms Gillard declared: "There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead".
Ms Gillard joined Australian Greens leader Bob Brown and two independents earlier on Thursday to announce a carbon pricing system to cut emissions and tackle climate change.
The scheme would involve a yet-to-be-determined price per tonne of carbon emissions from July 1, 2012, followed by an emissions trading scheme (ETS) with a flexible price in three to five years.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has vowed to oppose the scheme, promising a people's revolt.
Ms Gillard said she expected any amount of fear campaigning from the opposition.
"Tony Abbott has only got one speed and that's to oppose everything," she said.
"He will be clutching for all of his old slogans - a great big new tax on everything.
"We will see a fear campaign from Tony Abbott. That's the only thing he knows how to do. He will be out there actively misleading Australians with false and baseless figures."
Asked whether she would go as far as calling an election to win support for a carbon price, Ms Gillard said she was prepared to do what it took to win the debate and achieve a price on carbon on July 1, 2012.
But that would not mean going to the polls early.
"I want to be clear. My commitment to the Australian people is: we will have the election at the ordinary time in the ordinary course, in 2013," she told Sky Television.
"And I want to go to that election with a carbon price having started on July 1, 2012."
24 Feb 2011
More LIES perpetuated by the government.
This is incorrect and a blatant fraud, by the government saying that the "people voted for it".
This is global politics, in that the people MUST pay 'carbon' taxes into the coffers of the governments, whether they want to or not.