CLIMATE CHANGE minister Penny Wong released draft legislation this afternoon for the Federal Government's proposed emissions trading scheme.
The draft legislation has been released following the Coalition and Greens agreeing last night to establish a two-month Senate inquiry into the terms of reference of the scheme - set to report in June - just before the Senate's scheduled consideration of the scheme.
The Government is calling for feedback from interested parties on the draft legislation by close of business Tuesday, April 14.
Senator Wong will move a motion in the Senate tomorrow recommending that the exposure draft legisaltion be referred to the Senate Standing Committee on Economics, and she will recommend that the Committee also report by April 14.
Senator Wong told The Australian it is the preference of the Federal Government to have the legislation passed by June 2009, one year before the scheme is due to pass, and well before the international community negotiate emissions targets at UN talks in Copenhagen in December.
But the Opposition leader - proposing a scheduled start date of 2012 for the scheme - as well as National Senate leader Barnaby Joyce, are skeptical the legislation can pass by June this year.
Check back with Lawyers Weekly online for more updates and perspectives from the legal community