8 November 2011 – Today’s passing of the carbon price and the  Clean Energy Future legislation in the senate was an historic win for Austarlia, the Australian Greens said today.

Australian Greens Deputy Leader Senator Christine Milne (pictured with Greens Leader Bob Brown on the ABC website) said: “Today is the day that Australia lays the foundation for a whole economic transformation and it’s the day we start serious action to tackle the climate crisis.

“It is a day when the parliament placed the well being of future generations front and centre,” Senator Milne said.

“This is an exciting day in Australia. Laying this foundation stone means it is the beginning of building a clean, zero carbon economy and seizing the opportunities of creating jobs and investment and putting our economy on a 21st century track.

“Where the old CPRS that we rejected was a full stop at the end of the campaign to tackle climate change, this package is an opening paragraph. We have a lot of work to do in the months and years ahead to make the best use of the opportunities we have created.

“But today is also the beginning of the end for Tony Abbott.

“We have had to put up with a 12 month scare campaign from Tony Abbott and the big polluters, based mostly on lies and exaggerations.

“All that negativity is now out the window. There will be a psychological shift in Australia as people see less tax coming out of their pay or more in their support payments and then look to see how they can positively contribute to the task of tackling the climate crisis.

“Tony Abbott [who was out of the country for the vote] staked his entire political career on destabilising the Gillard government and on defeating the legislation to put a price on carbon pollution.

“He has failed on both counts and, instead of standing and facing the music, he has cut and run.

“Australia can now celebrate the passage of this historic package of bills, seize the opportunities it presents, and hold our heads up high internationally as our efforts for the first time bolster global negotiations and help to support carbon prices around the world.

“I will be travelling to Durban to attend the upcoming Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change where Australia’s efforts will be welcomed and celebrated.”