BILLS tying Australia's carbon pricing to the European Union emissions trading scheme and dumps a $15 floor price have cleared parliament.The seven bills passed the Senate, without amendments, by 34 votes to 28 last night.
The debate was similar to previous contributions, with opposition senators railing against the carbon tax and vowing to repeal it in government.
Liberal senator Mathias Cormann described the carbon tax as a shambles.
"It is bad for Australia, it is bad for Australian families, it is bad for Australian small businesses, it is bad for the Australian economy," Senator Cormann said.
"It makes us less competitive internationally while pushing up the cost of living and at the same time doing absolutely nothing to help reduce global emissions. It should be scrapped."
Nationals senator Ron Boswell said renewable energy targets and the carbon price were driving up electricity prices.
"Australia is in an expensive energy hole right now because ... of the carbon tax, and it is time we stop digging," Senator Boswell told the upper house.
Labor senator Lisa Singh said carbon pricing was one of the most significant changes to the Australian economy.
"It will have an important and enduring effect on the way businesses calculate the environmental cost of their activities," she said.
Senator Singh said Australia wasn't going alone and, from 2013, 850 million people would live in places where emitters paid.
"Emissions trading is the preferred method of carbon reduction across most of the world because it is easiest for business and the most efficient and effective policy lever," she said.
Closing the debate for the government, Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig said one would have thought the opposition might have run out of puff on their carbon tax scare campaign.
"But no, not to be disappointed they continue to harp," he said.
Senator Ludwig said contrary to what the opposition had claimed, Australia was acting with the world, not going it alone or ahead or behind other countries.
"More and more countries are saying that they too are moving to a price on carbon just like Australia," he said.
Senator Ludwig said the opposition seemed to think if they say something over and over again, it must be true.
"It is no longer credible for the opposition to say that we should not act," he said.
"The world is acting. The community at large expect us to act. We are acting."
The package of bills now proceed for royal assent.