Heath Aston April 15, 2012
Barry O'Farrell has been advised that a move to block the carbon tax would fail. Photo: Rob Homer
THE passage of the carbon tax has received a boost, with legal advice to NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell suggesting that a High Court challenge to block the tax would fail.
On Friday, Mr O'Farrell said NSW would consider joining a potential bid by Queensland to block the July 1 implementation of the carbon tax in the courts.
But The Sun-Herald understands Mr O'Farrell has already abandoned any thought of leading an assault on the Gillard government. Sources confirmed advice had come back that a legal challenge would be likely to fail in proving the carbon tax was unconstitutional.
Mr O'Farrell has made political mileage out of the carbon tax since it was announced. Last week, the NSW Energy Minister, Chris Hartcher, blamed the upcoming impost for the 16 per cent electricity price rises approved by the independent pricing regulator.
The reluctance of NSW to challenge the controversial tax is likely to slow momentum for a High Court bid. Victoria, like NSW, has said it would consider joining a Queensland bid.
The West Australian Premier, Colin Barnett, has stated publicly that his advice is that a bid would fail. The Queensland Premier, Campbell Newman, said he would not act without at least one other state with him in alliance.