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Aussie blokes tackle Carbon Cate and the eco warriors

Aussie 'blokes' tackle Carbon Cate and the 'eco warriors' reported

In one corner are the country's straight-talking miners, farmers and truck drivers, backed by macho opposition leader Tony Abbott, who fear the traditional Australian way of life is under threat.

In the other are the metropolitan "greenies", epitomised by Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett, and the country's first female prime minister, Julia Gillard, who claim they are just trying to save the planet.

The issue at stake is the nation's first carbon tax, a $23 (£15) levy on each tonne of carbon produced by the country's 500 worst polluters, which Ms Gillard's minority Labor government intends to push through parliament next month.

Due to be up and running by July 2012, it is the most ambitious policy of its kind outside Europe.

The proposed tax, however has galvanised an alliance of blue collar workers, conservatives and talk-show radio hosts – a constituency closely identified with Ozzie "blokedom" – into staging a series of noisy protests that they hope will sink the tax, and the government.


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