SOPHIE Mirabella is unapologetic about being suspended for today’s vote on the carbon tax, which was today passed in Federal Parliament.
The Clean Energy Future bills was passed by 74 votes to 72 in the lower house shortly after 9.30am, followed by much cheering.
Mrs Mirabella did not vote this morning after she was suspended for 24 hours from parliament from 10.30pm yesterday by fellow Liberal politician and deputy speaker Peter Slipper.
Mrs Mirabella told ABC Goulburn Murray radio this morning that she was trying to table a petition of names of North East residents opposed to the carbon tax when she was ordered out of the House of Representatives.
“It wasn’t my behaviour (that prompted the suspension), it was the refusal of the Labor Party to grant me leave to table those signatures,” Mrs Mirabella said.
“They’ve tried to intimidate and shut me up against the carbon tax for many, many months.
“I’m not someone who will be intimidated by the Labor Party I will continue to fight against the carbon tax, if this gets through the only reason why the carbon tax will become law is not because I’ve been suspended for 24 hours, let’s get that fact straight, the only reason the carbon tax will pass into law is because no government members have got the moral backbone to stand up for the interests of their constituents and that goes for several independents as well.”
Mrs Mirabella was asked if she had any regrets about what happened and said “absolutely not”, before placing blame on Climate Change Minister Greg Combet.
“I sought leave to table signatures of more than 1200 people in my electorate in the North East who oppose a carbon tax and want to seek an election and Mr Combet who was representing the government refused leave for the voices of the people of the North East to be recorded in the Hansard,” Mrs Mirabella said.
“The Labor Party is so afraid of the groundswell, the snowball against this carbon tax they can’t even allow normal citizens, ordinary citizens, to have their voice recorded.”
However, Mrs Mirabella hinted the suspension may not have happened in different circumstances.
“The deputy speaker moved up very quickly. I suspect the decision would have been otherwise if others were sitting in the chair, but I don’t think we can ignore the fact that Mr Combet was refusing the tabling of thousands of signatures from other electorates last night,” Mrs Mirabella said.