Bleary-eyed senators have avoided another parliamentary sleepover but the marathon debate over Australia’s pathway to net-zero continues.
Senators slept in their offices as the Coalition continued its filibuster of the government’s changes to the safeguard mechanism on Tuesday and Wednesday.
A key part of the plan to slash emissions by 43 per cent by 2030, the mechanism is a benchmark which requires the nation’s largest polluters to keep their carbon footprint below a set limit.
First legislated by the Coalition under Tony Abbott, the safeguard mechanism replaced the Gillard-era emissions trading scheme.
While there had been hope the Bill could come to a final vote on Wednesday evening, the Coalition continued to fight tooth and tail to delay its passage.
Late night antics from the kept the Senate sitting into the early hours of the morning. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage
Some senators returned to work with less than five hours of sleep after a long night of speeches on Tuesday meant the chamber did not adjourn until just after 4am.
Looking to avoid a repeat of the late night antics, the government and the Greens voted to adjourn debate just before 10pm on Wednesday evening.
It’s understood the government was looking to avoid a repeat of late night antics but was in the hands of the crossbench.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the legislation was key to driving down emissions and providing business and investment certainty.
The government confirmed earlier this week it had struck a deal with the Greens and the crossbench to pass the Bill through the upper house, with the senate agreeing to hard deadline of Thursday to deal with the matter.
The Coalition filibustered the bill late into the evening. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman
Under the deal, a hard cap on greenhouse gas emissions would be applied and a “pollution trigger” that will require the minister to consider a fossil fuel project’s impact on emission reduction targets.
The Coalition vehemently opposes changes to the safeguard mechanism arguing it may result in Australian industries sending production offshore to higher emitting countries to offset costs.