Dreyfus backs carbon tax fight

AAP

Senior Labor MP Mark Dreyfus has declared his party will oppose Tony Abbott's attempts to scrap the carbon tax, saying "I've got a mandate to defend good policy".

The comments come as others in the federal Labor ranks concede the incoming government has a mandate to abolish the carbon tax.

One, Nick Champion, even said the ALP should expose Mr Abbott's "bad" direct action policy by not opposing it in parliament, adding if the Liberals wanted to hang themselves, "we should give them as much rope as they need".

While Mr Dreyfus understood Mr Champion's frustrations, he said Australia's emissions trading scheme was world's best practice.

"Of course we didn't win the election," he told Sky News.

"But it's been clear policy and it is the right policy for Australia and I'm going to work to defend it and Labor is going to work to defend the right policy for Australia.

"I've got a mandate to defend good policy.

"I was elected to the Australian parliament on the clearest possible platform and that is for an emissions trading scheme."

Labor backbencher Amanda Rishworth said Labor's job was to hold Mr Abbott to account on his direct action plan, which uses revegetation and improving soil carbon to soak up emissions.

"We have a responsibility to the Australian people," she told Sky News.

Liberal frontbencher Bruce Billson said Labor had to face reality about the coalition's mandate to abolish carbon pricing."In my electorate less than one in three people voted for Labor," he told Sky News.

"So in terms of Labor members saying they have got a mandate, it's an interesting mandate where they want to make people's cost of living expenses and pressures higher than they need to be."

The debate came as the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia warned that repealing the impost would be a backward step.

"Driving businesses to become more carbon efficient is critical for our future," it said, releasing what it said should be the coalition government's priorities in its first 100 days."