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ABC News Breakfast -

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(generated from captions) men were also planning to bomb

the Saudi and Israeli embassies

in Washington. Let's come back

home now and the historic

carbon tax bill is finally set

to pass through the House of Representatives today after one of the fiercest community

debates in years. If it makes

it through today, and it should based on the current numbers,

it will go to the Senate next

month and become law from July

next year. Senator Christine

Milne is the Deputy Leader of

the Australian Greens and

climate change spokeswoman and

Welcome on a significant day she joins us from Canberra.

for the minority

Government. Thank you. Does it

gall the Greens somewhat that

you've had to agree to give you've had to agree

money to polluters in the form

of the steel transz formation

plan to get this legislation

through? Well, certainly the

steel transformation plan is

industry assistance, I see it

as quite separate from the

climate bills in the sense that

there is already compensation

for steel as a trade exposed

sector under the climate bills.

This is additional in the form

of industry assistance. I'm interested that Tony Abbott

went to both the Illawarra and

to South Australia declaring

that those industries would close because of the carbon

price, now when the Government

actually put a rescue package,

if you like, on the table for

the steel industry Tony Abbott

walked away from it and it was

down to the Greens to make a

decision as to whether we could

continue to see a steel

industry in Australia and

really that's what it came down

to. But you previously argued

though that it was too generous

so is that being amended in

some way to address those

concerns or have you simply

just changed your mind? Well on

the steel bills I see them as separate. On the compensation

for the trade exposed

industries that's certainly

previously and it's more less generous than it was

limited in time to 5 years of

certainty on that and review s

In the case of the by the Productivity Commission.

In the case of the steel

government only measure in July transformation plan, it was a

things have become even more

difficult for the steel

industry and we recognise that

if we're going to have a steel industry Australia in the long term we have to see it through

the next couple of years which

means we need steel for the

towers, for wind turbines, for

solar, thermal, for the whole

roll out of fast rail in

Australia. We want that steel

industry here and that's meant

to preserve those jobs we've

decided to support the plan

recognising also that there is

a green jobs plan in the

Illawarra and we're going to

move a second reading amendment

in the Senate asking that the

Government look at the central

planks of that plan when its

rolling out the 300 million. Do

you expect Labor will back that amendment? I don't know if

they're going to back it or not

but clearly it's been worked

through with the unions, the

university, with even with the

Australian Industry Group so

it's got a lot of credibility ,

a lot of work's gone into it

and it would really be

disingenuous for a government

not to take notice of

it. Within the transformation

plan is there a requirement for

steel companies to maintain a

particular number of jobs to be eligible for that

assistance? Not a number of

jobs but a production level and

really that's the point. Jobs

in the steel industry are quite

skilled jobs and so as long as

you require the companies to

keep on producing to a certain

level, then the jobs will be maintained. There will always be jobs movement within the

plant and of course we

recognise that there's already

been the announcement from Bluescope to close down one of

the furnaces with a loss of

1,000 jobs and they're being

phased out through to March

next year. So that's really -

it is in a crisis in Australia

the steel industry and I think

everybody in Australia wants to

continue to see Australian made

steel and jobs in the industry

maintained. You talk about

production having to be

maintained at a certain level.

The 'Financial Review' 's

reporting today that Bluescope

and One steel will be able to

cut jobs and production by 77%

yet still qualify for part of

the payout package, would you

be happy with that? I want to

see what the Government

actually says in relation to

the legislative directive which

is still to be written in

conjunctions with the industry.

I meet both with OneSteel and Bluescope yesterday afternoon

and talked to them about what

the Greens expect in relation

to this and certainly our focus

is on maintaining that skilled

work force and maintaining a steel industry in Australia through the next couple of

years so that they recover from

the global financial crisis and

are there to support the roll

out of renewables which is such

a fundamental part of a climate package. The $10 billion

investment in renewable energy

in Australia leverage ing

private sector finance means we

and that's something the will see large-scale renewables

community wants and Australian

made steel going into those is

very important. The legislation

will have its final vote today

in parliament and as we

mentioned earlier it has been a

very fierce community debate.

Labor MP Anna Bourke yesterday

said she received several death

threats over the legislation

and one email was opened by her 12-year-old. Have you heard of

this happening anywhere else in

the Parliament or has this just

been limited to her? No, it

hasn't been limited to her. All

of us over this whole period,

particularly those on the multiparty climate committee have had that kind of response

over a long period of time. But

that's unfortunately one of the

hazards of the way that the

political debate has been run

around the carbon debate and a

lot of that scare mongering is

completely unfounded and when

we saw those rallies against

the carbon price, some of the

posters just show you the level

of anger and violence in the

community directed to those of

us who are trying to address climate change but the fact of

the matter is it's a great day

of Australia. I'm absolutely

delighted to have been part of

that agreement with the Gillard

Government to deliver a carbon

price mechanism that we achieved after the last

election as part of delivering Government to Prime Minister

guard - Gillard. We've worked

through that multiparty climate

committee and we've got a good

package on the table because

it's now covering renewable

energy, energy efficiency, it's

the land sector as well and

that emission tradings scheme

and I think when we get to

Durban at the end of the year

the whole world is going to

recognise that Australia has

made a major contribution to

rebuilding momentum for a

global outcome and I'm

delighted that the Greens have

been part of that. Just

finally, Tony Abbott seems hell

bent on repealing the carbon

tax if he wins the next

election, will this be

possible? I think it's about

time he came out and admit ed

that it won't. All the hearings

we've had in the joint house

committee which I recently had several submissions and went to

all the hearings, what we had

there was all of the major

industry players, including the

investor group on climate

change which controls billions

of dollars and the

superannuation funds and so all

of them said what they need is

certainty. They need to be absolutely sure that we are

going to see this regime into

the future and that will unlock

a lot of investment dollars. So

I don't think Tony Abbott can

pull out from beneath the

farmers the opportunities that

the carbon farming initiative

provides. They certainly won't

be able to pull out the momentum for a large-scale

renewables which the whole

community wants and by telling

big business that the permits

that they purchase will be

valueless if he becomes prime

minister, that is something

they simply won't tolerate. So

now the issue for Tony Abbott

is how long does he maintain

the leadership if he maintains

his argument he's going to repeal the bills because it's

just not economically credible

and it shows him as an economic illiterate. Senator Christine