AI-CJ753_AUSCAR_G_20140717033604Australia’s Senate has voted 39-32 to repeal the carbon tax that went into effect in July 2012, the Wall Street Journal reported today. Australian voters turned against climate laws in the wake of high unemployment and rising energy costs.

“The carbon tax has affected industries ranging from mining and energy to aviation, and was widely opposed by manufacturers and a majority of business representative groups including the country’s main chamber of commerce,” the report said.

The carbon tax, which is currently set at $24.151 (AUD), is the central component of the Australian Government’s climate change policy. The tax applies directly to around 370 Australian businesses and was originally designed as a precursor to a “cap and trade” scheme, with the transition to a flexible price originally (and currently) scheduled to take place on July 1, 2015,” according to an extensive economic evaluation of Australia’s carbon tax by Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia in 2013.

“Today the tax that you voted to get rid of is finally gone, a useless destructive tax which damaged jobs, which hurt families’ cost of living and which didn’t actually help the environment is finally gone,” Prime Minister Tony Abbott said in a news conference Thursday.

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