Opposition meltdown on ETS

The gloves are off, it appears, as the insults fly backwards and forwards between Malcolm Turnbull and his backbenchers.

REBEL Liberal MP Wilson Tuckey has slammed Malcolm Turnbull for talking “rubbish” on climate change, warning the party can’t get into “bed” with Labor on an emissions trading scheme.

Declaring he would stare down the climate change sceptics within his party, Mr Turnbull said today “the answer is yes” on the question of cutting a deal to amend Labor’s emissions trading scheme ahead of a shadow cabinet meeting in Adelaide.

The Liberal leader has also flatly rejected the claims of some Coalition MPs that the joint partyroom had never signed off on a carbon trading plan, suggesting they must have “dozed off or stepped out of the room”.

But his remarks have already angered some of his flock, with Mr Tuckey telling The Australian Online that Mr Turnbull was “virtually saying to the party room: `stick it up your nose’.”

“Malcolm says the party room agreed to it. Well it didn’t. That’s rubbish,” Mr Tuckey said.

“It’s the way he does business, it’s entrapment. There’s never been a position put to our party room beyond that we should delay our decision until after Copenhagen.

“You can’t go to an election opposing an emissions trading scheme if you have been in bed with the government on trying to make it better.”

But despite the clear rejection of his approach, Turnbull isn’t giving up:

In a clear sign that he intends crashing through internal resistance, the Opposition Leader said those arguing there be no negotiation with Labor over its emissions trading scheme were advocating abandoning their constituencies.

”Farmers, people working in the manufacturing industry, people working in the coal industry, people working in gas, in aluminium. We would be abandoning them all, every one of them we would be leaving behind to make some political point,” he said.

”I am not going to walk away from thousands of Australians’ jobs. I am not going to sit back and just let Kevin Rudd have his scheme go through on whatever terms he likes.”

Mr Turnbull said those ”who say the Coalition should not engage with the Government at all really are speaking for nobody but themselves”.

Malcolm Turnbull is making no sense whatsoever in this. Then he admits that it is bad legislation, but that we should negotiate to make it slightly less bad, instead of what he should be doing – i.e. voting it down. He claims that by opposing the ETS, MPs are abandoning their constituents, tacitly admitting that by voting it down, it will be enacted anyway after a double-dissolution election in which the Opposition already concede defeat.

If Rudd then calls a double-dissolution election, I say bring it on – only in an election campaign can sufficient money be spent informing and educating the public about this pointless and damaging piece of legislation. An election fought on climate change would be a very interesting prospect.

Read it here and here.

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