UNDER THE FLAG
'We are a conservationist government ': Abbott
The Prime Minister welcomes the repeal of the carbon tax, but doesn't rule out ever introducing a carbon pricing mechanism in the future.PT1M42S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-3c30e 620 349 July 17, 2014
It will go down in Canberran folklore as a myth, but it most certainly happened.
The very moment the carbon tax was repealed, after three parliamentary attempts, several years of political warfare and the killing of a leader or two, a rainbow appeared over Lake Burley Griffin.
Victors: Tony Abbott and Environment Minister Greg Hunt. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
God tends not to take political sides, but when it comes to the carbon tax, She does seem to be trying to tell us something via celestial signs.
On the afternoon the doomed tax passed the Senate in November 2011, a storm gathered and the heavens threatened darkly to open.
It was a Gothic scene which caused even the most scientific minds to doubt then-prime minister's Julia Gillard's assurances that the world would not end if Australia priced carbon.
Then-Greens leader Bob Brown was poised to give a triumphant al fresco press conference just as the rain began to spatter.
''Even the heavens are clapping!'' he declared, in a brilliant example of political spin.
''It's a great day for Australia and for planet Earth!''
On Thursday the tax was killed, not by an act of God, but by an act of Parliament. Because truthfully, the heavens might have applauded the tax, but Australians didn't. They largely hated it, and Gillard for inflicting it.
Abbott famously capitalised on this, and for years it seemed no small Queanbeyan-based business went unmolested by the opposition leader as he showed up in high-visibility clothing to make high-visibility remarks about how much the tax was costing households, businesses, and industry.
On Thursday Mr Abbott told the nation: '''You voted to scrap the tax in September last year and today the Parliament finally listened''.
A final, heretical thought: isn't it possible that the Prime Minister will miss the carbon tax, on some deep and perhaps Freudian level? He won his party's leadership over his opposition to carbon pricing. Probably, its existence won him the prime ministership he has wanted since he was a young man. The carbon tax made Tony Abbott. What would he be without it?
On Thursday he told media ''the carbon tax is gone'', but, he said, ''it seems it hasn't entirely been forgotten'', a reference to the Labor Party's continued advocacy of a market-based carbon price.
During question time, Education Minister Christopher Pyne, a colourfully vocal opponent of the tax throughout its benighted life, seemed pleased he didn't have to bid adieu to his old foe just yet.
''We will hang this around [your] neck like a rotting stinking carcass,'' he told Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.
''You have given the Coalition a whole new lease of life, Bill, a whole new lease of life.''