Carbon tax repeal passes first hurdle

Environment minister Greg Hunt is congratulated by the leader of the house Chris Pyne after the carbon tax repeal legislation is passed the lower house. (AAP)

The House of Representatives has taken the first votes on the government's legislative package to repeal the carbon tax and associated measures.

The Abbott government's carbon tax repeal bills have cleared parliament's lower house, setting up a coalition showdown with the Senate in December.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt told parliament the package of 11 bills were about the coalition honouring its word, unlike former Labor prime minister Julia Gillard who had made a "contractual breach" by introducing the carbon tax after promising not to during the 2010 election campaign.

"This is about rectifying a fundamental breach of faith with the Australian people," he said on Thursday as he summed up debate on the repeal legislation.

"We will be repealing the carbon tax, firstly, because it doesn't work, secondly, because it destroys our competitiveness and, thirdly, because we gave our word."

The tax was "meant to cause pain for ordinary families" and drive up the price of electricity, gas and fuel.

The opposition agrees the the carbon tax should be terminated but only if it is replaced with a market-based emissions trading scheme.

Labor and the Greens separately made unsuccessful attempts to have the bills rejected.

The Clean Energy Legislation (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2013 and 10 associated bills now proceed to the upper house, where Labor and the Greens have the numbers to block them.

Source AAP

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