Is it a carbon tax? Well, yes I guess it is. But views as to using carbon tax versus an ETS have evolved and changed over the past several years, with the complexity and bureaucratic shemozzle of an ETS seen as a big stumbling block to any implementation of a scheme about climate change. A carbon tax is seen as economically efficient.
Neither is perfect.
A lot more detail still to come, and a few heads will no doubt get kicked along the way.
It is probably fair to say only the absolute diehard sceptics still subscribe to a view that climate change is not real and happening.....and maybe accelerating, even if there is some noise about normal cyclic movements in climate, sometimes attributed to changes in the solar energy cycles.
An interesting piece has been seen on the ABC web site today:[http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/02/25/3148883.htm ]
This is a reasonable cover of the issues, without getting into the trade exposed intensive industries arguments that were discussed during the previous ETS discussions.
But this option of a tax can be done now and should send appropriate signals to consumers and industry that there is not a free ride anymore.
It should be an interesting period over the next few years as this evolves......or gets stymied depending on how the political pieces fall.