Julia Gillard (our Prime Minister....I'm sorry...she's an embarrassment to the country....she's nothing like the rest of us) said this before the election:
In doing so she pretty much stole the election. She has no mandate to introduce this sort of legislation. Its in part the result of her needing the Greens to hold power. So the Greens (despite holding a very small proportion of the popular vote) are controlling the country...great.
Then there's a problem with the Labor Government (sort of the equivalent of the Democrats in the US, but more useless) calling this a "carbon tax" or "carbon price". They're NOT pricing CARBON. CARBON is the basis of all life forms. It ranges from black coal to diamonds and is one of the most abundant elements in the universe. What they're actually doing is taxing CARBON DIOXIDE. It might seem like a technicality but there's a very big difference here. I fear that at some point this technicality is going to be used to justify the application of the tax to several things that it never should have.
The other really big problem is that those supporting the tax seem to have forgotten why they want it. They claim its to combat global warming. But the world hasn't warmed for about 12 years now, with no statistically significant warming for about 16 years. The warming in the latter half the 20th c certainly wasn't outside previous natural variations, neither in magnitude nor rate of increase. Adding to that, Australia produces about 1.7% of the world's CO2 so us cutting it by 5% and killing our economy isn't going to do ANYTHING to world temperatures. And that's even if you believe the link between the two. China is building coal fired power plants to the extent of Australia's entire coal sector every 6 months.
So pretty much the government is about to tax the shit out of us to "feel good" and make the Greens happy. EPIC FAIL.