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National Government

Australian Premier Tony Abbott under fire as 'environmental vandal'

In less than a year as Australian government leader, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has drawn more ire from environmentalists than most anti-regulation crusaders manage in a full term in office. He delivered last month on his chief campaign promise to make the land Down Under the first to repeal a functioning carbon tax on the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases. His government has also approved the massive Carmichael Coal Mine development in Queensland that environmentalists say threatens to damage the Great Barrier Reef with its runoff and to blast the atmosphere with an additional 130 million tons of carbon dioxide each year. He invited loggers to Parliament House in Canberra in...