Turnbull lashes out at climate sceptics

27 Jul, 2009 05:51 AM
Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull.
Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull.

MALCOLM TURNBULL has upbraided climate change sceptics in his own party as he flagged the Coalition making a deal on the emissions trading scheme before the end of the year.

Backed by a new policy position crunched during an emergency shadow cabinet meeting on Friday, the Opposition Leader all but confirmed the Coalition would oppose the legislation when the Senate voted on August 13, thus ensuring its defeat.

If, however, the Government reintroduced the bill three months later, making it a double dissolution trigger if rejected again, Mr Turnbull said he would be prepared to talk.

"There isn't enough time to negotiate [amendments] between now and August 13 when Mr Rudd wants to bring the vote on," he told the ABC's Insiders program.

"If the scheme is presented in its current form on August 13, it will be voted down by the Coalition in the Senate," he said. "If the Government chooses to bring it back, we may well present amendments later in the year."

Mr Turnbull was forced to rejig the policy - which included issuing the Government with nine new demands - after hostilities erupted last week inside the Coalition. The backbencher Wilson Tuckey, who opposes any form of emissions trading, sparked the furore by labelling Mr Turnbull as arrogant and inexperienced for wanting to do a deal.

Mr Turnbull fired back at Mr Tuckey and his ilk yesterday by reminding them a trading scheme had been Coalition policy since before the last election. "Those people who say the Liberal Party, as a matter of principle, should oppose an ETS must have been asleep during the last term of the Coalition government because it was John Howard's policy to have an emissions trading scheme," he said.

"We designed an emissions trading scheme - much better designed than the one Mr Rudd has come up with."

He said Mr Tuckey and others should be thinking factually and unemotionally. "Ideology is a very poor guide to policy," he said.

Mr Turnbull argues internally that the Coalition would be savaged in an early, double dissolution election on climate change and he started to say this publicly yesterday before checking himself: "We've already experienced one election on climate change so we know what …"

Mr Turnbull said he was willing to negotiate the nine demands the Coalition now had and any refusal by the Government to accommodate him was arrogance. The demands include extending the number of free permits while also boosting compensation.

The money raised by selling permits pays for compensation to industry and households. Mr Turnbull rejected assertions his demands would mean the scheme could not fund itself.

The Nationals senator Barnaby Joyce told the Herald the Nationals would not vote for an ETS and would split from the Liberals over the issue if Mr Turnbull went ahead and did a deal. The Government needs the Liberal Party because the Greens and the two Senate independents do not support the scheme, either. The Greens believe the scheme is too soft.

The Greens leader, Bob Brown, said yesterday Mr Turnbull was preparing to support the Government's "prescription for failure".

Date: Newest first | Oldest first


27/07/2009 10:31:56 AM

How can we be taxed on a commodity that we cannot see or feel; this is another tax on the primary producers of our country who are limited to passing on the costs that this tax that we will have to pay to the government to prop up the economy even further. Our product is the food bowl that we ALL need to survive; we will all have to go back to being cavemen and live off the food source of the land and emit pollution from our sticks that we need to burn to prepare our food for us to eat and survive. The food source and the resources of our land was given to us by our good Lord! Did he intend it to be taxed in the way that it is? Where is the evidence of the so-called pollution that we are/created. I think it is time that the pollies, so-called environmentalists took the time to read the oldest book in the universe and checked out what they did during the time of climate change!!
27/07/2009 10:37:35 AM

Just go away mate, just go!
27/07/2009 12:17:39 PM

Obviously you are prepared to pay for something you cannot see. Show me the feasibility of this ETS. Can you tell me what is positive about staying on the land and producing food, we have to sustain what we have through all climatic conditions - 'climate change'.
27/07/2009 12:42:07 PM

The electorate wants an ETS by a ratio of 4 to 1. This is why the Coalition will fall into line and support the legislation before it becomes a double dissolution event, otherwise they will get carved up at an election. What everyone - farmers, consumers, large polluters etc - should do is start to plan for its implementation.
27/07/2009 6:10:56 PM

This is nothing more than a abuse of Executive Government power. Turnbull is running scared to save himself at the expense of agriculture !!!!!
27/07/2009 6:48:14 PM

As if the population wants a emission trading scheme by 4 to 1, where is that info coming from? Some sort of make believe green survey no doubt. This is just another misleading tax.
28/07/2009 2:05:47 AM

Gee Tonypolony, I guess the latest NewsPoll on the ETS must be wrong, just like the science and the editors of the IPCC report No 1.
Concerned Northerner
28/07/2009 9:55:41 AM

Plan as much as you like Tonypolony, food producers will go broke and quit producing food in Australia, then the people will be dependant on imported food and that will leave Australia open to food shortage and rationing. Why do you think the governments support farmers overseas with subsidies? They suffered food rationing last century and do not intend to do it again. Australia will learn the hard way.
28/07/2009 10:24:53 AM

Jessie, There is overwhelming evidence that greenhouse gas pollution is contributing to climate change. Here is a great science-based website that deals with the debate. http://bravenewclimate.com/ Now where is the evidence for this "Good Lord" of which you speak????
28/07/2009 11:12:23 AM

Mr Turnbull will never be prime minister anyhow, & it seems to me a pointless exercise on his part to destroy the coalition prospects over a so-called double dissolution that Rudd doesn't have the nerve to call. The coalition should immediately elect a new leader & call Rudd's bluff.
1 | 2  |  next >


Screen name *
Email address *
Remember me?
Comment *


light grey arrow
CMT,you have the story all wrong. farmers do not want to replace non GM canola with GM canola.
light grey arrow
Regardless of which party wins the next election. With Turnbull & Bishop at the helm of the
light grey arrow
Jock, would you sell your place to an Australian for a lesser price than you could get from a