SYDNEY (AFP) – Australia's parliament rejected controversial carbon cuts ahead of UN climate talks on Wednesday, dealing a heavy blow to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd who also passed up the chance to call snap polls.
The upper house, or Senate, voted down the scheme 33 to 41 after days of tumultuous debate that saw the opposition coalition leader deposed by a maverick climate-change sceptic.
The legislation's second failure since August gave Rudd powers to dissolve parliament and call early elections. But the government opted not to exploit the opposition's turmoil and instead said the bill would be reintroduced.
"We will come to parliament again, we will seek passage of the bill," Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard told reporters. "All options are on the table as to what happens next."
The legislation's failure is deeply embarrassing for the pro-green Rudd, who is set for a lead role at the Copenhagen UN summit but presides over a country that remains the world's worst per capita polluter.
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Source: AFP (through Yahoo! News), "No Australia poll in wake of climate law defeat," December 2, 2009,http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20091202/wl_afp/unclimatewarmingaustraliapol...