Here was me thinking the Abbott government had become Baillieu-esque, well it now looks positively Whitlam-esque.
Tony Abbott’s much criticised Direct Action carbon abatement policy can be introduced without legislation, meaning it won’t have to run the gauntlet of a hostile Senate, it has been revealed.
Environment Minister Greg Hunt has indicated that the government has been advised that it can introduce the controversial replacement program for Labor’s carbon price, through regulation rather than direct legislation.
I don’t understand how that would work. I’m happy to believe that there might be some pre-existing regulatory framework that can be re-interpreted to the purpose. But how will the federal government be in a position to spend money without Parliamentary approval? That’s what got the whole chaplains-in-schools program into trouble.
The court ruled in a 6-1 majority that the way the program has been funded is invalid under scope of executive power in section 61 of the constitution.
The only thing I can think of this that there might be something in the Financial Framework Amendment Bill that allows this sort of thing.
Overall, however, having a situation where the executive can impose policy on the nation and spend money without the approval the parliament is is huge violation of our democratic principles and parliamentary democracy and should be vigorously opposed.