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The Australian prime minister, Julia Gillard, who has just unveiled a new carbon tax.
READ the full text of Prime Minister Julia Gillard's address to the nation following the carbon tax plan:

I WANT to talk to you tonight about why the Government is putting a price on carbon and what this means for you.

The decisions I announced today mean:

AROUND five hundred big polluters will pay for every tonne of carbon pollution they put into our atmosphere.

BY 2020 this will cut carbon pollution by 160 million tonnes a year.

AND because some businesses will put prices up, there will be tax cuts, increased pensions and increased family payments.

We have had a long debate about climate change in this country.

Most Australians now agree our climate is changing, this is caused by carbon pollution, this has harmful effects on our environment and on the economy - and the Government should act.

Economists and experts agree that the best way is to make polluters pay by putting a price on carbon.

The first Australian Government to announce a plan for a carbon price was John Howard's back in 2007.

A lot has happened since then; the debate has been difficult and divisive.

And no government - no political party or leader - can claim to have got everything right during this time.

But we have now had the debate, 2011 is the year we decide that as a nation we want a clean energy future.

Now is the time to move from words to deeds.

That's why I announced today how Australia's carbon price will work.

From 1 July next year, big polluters will pay $23 for every tonne of carbon they put into our atmosphere.

They now know how much they will pay unless they cut their pollution.

And they can start planning to cut pollution now.

By 2020 our carbon price will take 160 million tonnes of pollution out of the atmosphere every year.

That's the equivalent of taking forty five million cars off the road.

Some of the cost paid by big polluters will be passed through to the prices of the goods you buy.

The price impact will be modest but I know family budgets are always tight.

So I have decided most of the money raised from the carbon price will be used to fund tax cuts, pension increases and higher family payments.

These will be permanent, matching the carbon price over time.

Not everyone will be financially better off - there is no money tree. The budget has to add up. But I want people who need help most to get the help they need.

That's why 9 in 10 households will get a combination of tax cuts and payment increases.

For almost six million households this will fully meet your average extra costs.

And of these, four million Australian households - including every older Australian who relies solely on the pension - will get a "buffer" for your budget, with the extra payments being 20 per cent higher than your average extra costs.

When you have some time, you should have a look at the website.

It'll help you find out what you're entitled to.

And it will link you to ideas for how to cut power bills and cut pollution without cutting back on life's essentials.

I also understand that there is nothing more important to families than having a job.

So I have decided we will take special measures to support jobs and keep Australia competitive internationally. And some of the money paid by polluters will also fund billions of dollars of investments in clean technologies like solar, wind and geothermal.

All up, the carbon price will support $100 billion worth of investment in renewables in the next forty years.

Putting a price on carbon is a big change for our country.

I know we can do it together.

Our economy is the envy of the world.

We have world-leading renewable technology, a coal industry determined to cut pollution among the world's richest reserves of natural gas.

And we are a confident, creative people.

I see a great clean energy future for our great country.

I know we can get there together.