The Australian parliament has passed the
carbon tax bill that imposes a levy of A$23 ($23.8) a tonne for the
country’s 500 worst polluters.

The Australian Senate approved the tax in a
36-32 vote, following a 74-72 vote last month in the House of

The new tax will hit several business sectors
including the countries’ booming mining sector.

The new tax has been widely opposed by some
stakeholders and its recent approval has been interpreted as
support for the government’s climate and global warming agenda.

KMPG Australia chief executive Geoff Wilson
told the International Accounting Bulletin the new tax
will have a, “significant effect on many businesses in Australia
particularly the high carbon emitters”.

“We are already seeing a significant upturn in
advice clients need on the future regime. Because we now have an
established starting price for carbon that is finding its way into
key investment decisions that Australian businesses are making,” he

BDO Australia managing partner Tony
Schiffmannsaid the firm has already done some work in helping
clients understand the coming legislation.

“It will impact the largest companies directly
and our early indications show that other smaller companies will
also be impacted, but not materially,” he said.

Deloitte Australia chief executive Giam
Swiegers said some of the firm’s clients are looking at the new law
favourably and some a bit less

“We are already seeing a surge in helping our
clients understand the implication of the new tax and seeing
several opportunities for us,” he added.

The new carbon tax will come into effect in
July 2012 and move to an emissions trading scheme from July

The Australian government is also considering
introducing mining tax legislation.  Recently Prime
Minister Julia Gillard’s government introduced legislation
into parliament for a 30 percent tax on coal and iron-ore