'Australians have made it clear that they understand the challenge of climate change and they want a government that will act,' Senator Wong said.
'As one of the hottest and driest countries on earth, Australia's environment and economy will be one of the hardest and fastest hit by climate change if we don't act now.
'Through an unprecedented investment in energy efficiency, a four-fold expansion in renewable energy and the introduction of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, the Rudd Government is getting on with the job of tackling climate change.
'This is all about creating the jobs of the future. The CPRS is a whole of economy reform that will, for the first time, put a price on carbon and encourage investment in new, low pollution technologies.'
Building on the Green Paper and White Paper released last year, the exposure draft legislation sets out in legislation what is required of participants in the Scheme and the mechanics of the Scheme that will ensure Australia's emissions reductions targets achieved.
The Government is seeking feedback from stakeholders on the terms of the draft legislation and its effectiveness in delivering the White Paper's policy positions.
'This legislation will provide the robust framework that is required to set up Australia's economy for a low pollution future.'
Senator Wong will move a motion in the Senate tomorrow recommending that the exposure draft legislation be referred to the Senate Standing Committee on Economics to ensure the Senate has the earliest possible opportunity to consider the legislative package.
The Government is seeking submissions from interested parties on the exposure draft legislation by close of business Tuesday, 14 April 2009. Senator Wong has also recommended that the Senate Standing Committee on Economics report by 14 April 2009 to ensure the findings of the Committee can be considered in the final legislation.
'The Government is very mindful of the need to deliver business certainty and a clear position in the lead up to the Copenhagen climate change conference. Passing the legislation during the 2009 winter sittings will deliver this certainty,' Senator Wong said.
Copies of the draft legislation, commentaries, and details on how to make public submissions can be found on the Department of Climate Change website.