THE Gillard government declared victory for a "historic economic reform" today after the Senate finally passed a carbon tax - laws that have created political havoc for four years and have been debated for more than a decade. The government won the historic vote in the upper house 36 to 32.
Labor and the Greens combined to pass the 18 "Clean Energy Future" bills just after midday, to applause from the packed public galleries.
Finance Minister and former climate change minister Senator Penny Wong said that, on the Labor side of politics, "we accept the science, we accept the need to act [on climate change], and, like John Howard and Malcolm Turnbull, we accept the science and the advice that putting a price on carbon is the best way to reduce emissions."
Senator Wong failed to secure the passage of the former Rudd government's emissions trading scheme.
Coalition leader Tony Abbott was overseas when the Senate took its vote, but National Party frontbencher Senator Barnaby Joyce declared it was "a sad day when we reorganise our economy on the basis of a colourless, odourless gas ... it is the height of foolishness."
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