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Labor Revolt Down Under: Australian Prime Minister Faces A Carbon Revolt From Backbench MPs

[Australian Prime Minister] Julia Gillard faces growing backbench unrest over the carbon tax with sceptics quietly planning to push for changes to the incoming tax – or the leadership.

Labor MPs have voiced concerns about the level of the July 1 fixed carbon price — $23 a tonne — and the timetable to transition to an emissions trading scheme in 2015.

A new caucus sub-committee, created to cool MPs’ anger over the government’s foreign-worker deal with mining magnate Gina Rinehart, is set to be a forum for sceptics to push for change, several Labor MPs suggested.

“I just hate the carbon tax. Never wanted it,” one Labor MP told The Sunday Telegraph.

‘We might have a few like-minded sceptics coming out. If I had my way we wouldn’t be having a carbon tax but that’s not possible.”

Former Labor leader Kevin Rudd raised the idea of reviewing the carbon tax during the recent Labor leadership contest, with a view to possibly beginning the market-based ETS sooner than 2015.

But Labor frontbenchers maintain this would have huge budget implications and might not be a sustainable option.

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