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Interview With Russell Broadbent MP -

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The top story on ABC News

Breakfast - a three-way contest

is expected for the Liberal

Party leadership this morning.

Tony Abbott says he will

challenge Joe Hockey and Malcolm Turnbull for control of

the party. The three candidates

offering very different

strategies on the Government's

Emissions Trading Scheme. Mr

Turnbull wants it to be passed

as amended. Mr Hockey says if

he wins he will put it to a

conscience vote. Mr Abbott

doesn't want the legislation at

all. To talk about the consequences of the mealing

this morning, Liberal

backbencher Russell Broadbent

joins us from Canberra. Thank

you for joining us on ABC News

Breakfast Good morning. The

good news is showers over

Gippsland . As long as there is

some welcome rain you can smile

about something, can't you?

Absolutely Because there is not

a great deal to smile about

with what's happening with your

party. Do you have any sense of who might end up being leader

in a couple of hours? No, I

haven't. I despair for my party

this morning. As of late last

night, I didn't know what was

going on. This morning I

believe Mr Abbott is standing

against Mr Hockey and against

Mr Turnbull. So, we'll just

have to see how the partyroom

works this out. Have you been

heavily lobbied or do people

know where you stand, Mr

Broadbent? Well, they know

where I stand. I will be

supporting Mr Turnbull. I've

taken the partyroom line the

whole of this exercise. Both

times the ETS was put to us not

only in the partyroom with Ian

Macfarlane where we voted for

his amendments - that's what we

were asked to do. We sported

the party line. Two votes since

then about this issue or about

the leadership, however which

way you want to take it, I'm

not sure whether we're voting

about the leadership or the

ETS. Wouldn't a free vote cause

more division within the

party? St possible to cause

more division within your

party? Well, parties go through

difficult times and surely this

is the most difficult time, and usually you would lock in

behind your leader in difficult

times and go with the process

that the party put in place,

and we certainly went with -

well, I went with what the

party put in place for us.

Those - we didn't like Mr

Rudd's Emissions Trading

Scheme, but those proposals we

put to change it were very,

very important, to my

constituency, especially - agriculture, mining, power

industry, power workers. They

were very important things -

food industry and dairy. Of

course we're going to put

amendments to make something

that was no good better. So why

is it then as a Liberal and

someone who represents a rural

constituency and and you say

it's much impeter for them, it

won't do them in the eye, why

then can't you get agreement on

that. Whist that somebody like

Nick Minchin have such a vastly

different view to you? Well, I

didn't think a week ago we had

a vastly different view because

a week ago or two weeks ago I

was following Nick Minchin and

the leadership of the party on

the line that they took and Ian

Macfarlane had done such a

great job in what he put to the

partyroom, and all of a sudden

we have an explosion over an

issue that we're all backing

in, supporting only a week ago

two weeks ago. So it has been a

very confusing process for all

and sundry about this issue. If

Malcolm Turnbull has made a

mistake, though,st that his

personality, his manner, that

he has made it impossible for

some people to, as you say,

block in behind your

leader? But all leaders have

issues about personality and

manner if someone doesn't get

their way. There were people

who were opposed to Mr Howard when he was Prime Minister because they didn't get their

way on a certain issue, but at

least he had the authority of

Prime Minister to drive through

the policies that were very

important to him. Since then,

the party in Opposition has been struggling to find its way

on policy issues, and I think

today is just a best example of

that frustration. So do you

think Joe Hockey is the person

who could bring you

together? Well, I don't see how

a free vote is a process to

bring people together. It means

there will still be people

opposed to one another in the

same party in the Senate. It

seems the partyroom sent a

message that was unacceptable

to the senators. So we have a

party divided over a number of

issues which has been a most debilitating process for

us. And you can't see a way that that can be brought

together then on that key

issue? Well, it's a hard road

to home because I believe that

Mr Rudd will be looking to go

to an election very, very

shortly. One thing we know, we

don't have to wait long in this

profession. No, and if he goes

to an election early, you're

decimated, aren't you? I never

give up my seat. I'm going to

hold my seat at the next

election, come what may. I'm

going to fight for every vote

that's out there. There has

been some disagreement on the

ETS. There have been others

that are very positive about

the stances that I've taken,

having regard to climate change

being an issue for our future.

We cannot deny that climate has

changed and we can't look

backwards, we've got to have a

process going forward, and I

think the party has - there are

to have a unified position. Can

you see Tony Abbott, if he is

successful, getting you all

behind a unified position? A

week ago Tony was asking us to

support Ian Macfarlane's

amendments. All of a sudden he

is totally against an ETS. I

don't know how a party can have

so many positions from so many

of the leadership. Well, look,

just finally this morning,

Russell Broadbent... I haven't

cleared a lot up for you, have

I? You really haven't, but I

don't blame you. Just finally ,

maybe you can clear this one

thing up - if this motion is

successful, and it does seem.

You won't get your chance to vote for Malcolm Turnbull, who

will you pick, who will you

vote for? Well, Malcolm

Turnbull will stand So you will

still keep voting for him? If

there is a spill, Malcolm

Turnbull will surely stand

because otherwise... Sure, if

he is knocked out in that first

round, who are you left

with? Well, I would have to

consider my position because

the current position is that

I'm voting for Malcolm Turnbull

and I will have to deal with

the issues forward to that

because there is not a clear

position from Mr Abbott or Mr

Hockey as to where we're going

on this policy. Russell