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Interview With Senator Gary Humphries. -

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(generated from captions) The top story on ABC. ABC

News Breakfast - Opposition

Leader Malcolm Turnbull is

refusing to leave without a

fight despite Joe Hockey

firming as the favourite for

the expected three-way contest for the Liberal Party leadership, Mr Turnbull says he

will win and the ETS

legislation will pass. The

third man fighting for the

Liberals' top job is Tony

Abbott who is against the

Emissions Trading Scheme

legislation. Joe Hockey has

taken the middle road, saying

if he wins he will put the

issue to a free vote, but Mr

Turnbull says that won't be necessary. If I am

reconfirmed as leader of the

Liberal Party, as I expect to

be, and I ask my colleagues

again for their support, I give

this undertaking that we will

bring the party together. I am

not a hater, I don't bear

grunls. I am prepared to wipe

the slate of all the

animosities clean and move

forward together, but the one

thing we must have is we must

have a policy on climate change

that recognises the need of

Australia and the wish of the Australian people to take

action. Now, the bill in the

Senate this week represents

action on climate change. It is

very similar to the policy that

John Howard had when he was in

Government, as he himself has

said, and which we took to the

last election. For more ACT

Liberal senator Gary Humphries

joins us now from Canberra.

Senator hum gris, good

morning Good morning, Joe. Malcolm Turnbull seems to

have a bit of a spring in his

step this morning. You will

support him this morning. What

are his chances of winning? I

will support him and I think

his chances are very good. This

is a very tight race. It's

anybody's race. We have three

formidable powerful figures in

the Liberal Party contesting

this leadership and I think any

of them could win, but I think

that the best winner must be

Malcolm Turnbull. He has not

only a good track record, but

also a man who has a clear position on climate change that

I think the party can't afford

to walk away from. A lot of

this has emerged from his alleged misrepresentation of

what happened in the partyroom

in that vote on the amended

ETS. Do you maintain he did

judge that

correctly? Absolutely. There is

no question in my mind but that

the party did support, I admit

with some reluctance on the

part of some people and a bit

of recitation on the part of

others, but we did have a clear

partyroom support saying we

wanted to back the Government's

legislation as amended. What do

you think that some people

misrepresented what happened to

bring this on? I hope it's

simply a misunderstanding or

miscalculation on their part

because in my view a very clear

view was determined by that

meeting at the partyroom

meeting. I hope they're not

pursuing this issue because

they believed genuinely that

there was some mistake made. I

hope they're doing so because

they believe in the issue and

not the person they're playing.

What happen has to happen at the end of the day is that we

need to have a clear position

and the party needs to more

forward. It seems to me the position that Malcolm Turnbull

has articulated to the party is

a clear one. We've negotiated

over a number of weeks of different negotiations between

Penny Wong and Ian Macfarlane.

We need to now move forward. As

you just said a moment ago, a

major party in Australian

politics can't afford not to

have a clear position on

climate change and with that

position he has put forward, we

do have that policy to go forward. If Malcolm Turnbull

doesn't get up this morning,

presumably you would support

Joe Hockey in a run-off against

Tony Abbott. Would Joe Hockey

win that convincingly? Look, it

would be a brave person to make

predictions. Yes, I would back

Joe Hockey in those

circumstances. I think he would

win. I think that a majority of

the party does still support

having a strong forward-looking

position on climate change,

which is why I think that one

of either Hockey or Turnbull

will win this battle today, but

I think it's important for us

to have a clear position buns

the dust settles on today's

ballot, and if we are still

floundering about, trying to

find a position, we will be in

a very difficult position going

into the summer break. So Joe

Hockey reportedly wants this

free vote on emissions trading.

In a free vow, you would support the legislation. How

many others would in the

Senate? Yes. Look, I would

guess there is between 6 and 10

who would be in that position,

but a lot depends on the way in

which the argument is presented

and when the vote is conducted,

so I don't want to speak on

behalf of my colleagues, but I

think there is a clear

substantial number of senators

who support the deal with the

Government and the Opposition

have worked out together and

and will vote accordingly if

they have the chance. If Tony

Abbott got up, would you cross

the floor against his wishes on

the ETS amended legislation? It has always been my strong

intention and desire to support

the party position. I support

the right of people to not

support the position if they

can't do so, and I've stood by

those colleagues in the Senate

in the course of the last week

who have decided to cross the

floor on emissions trading, but

I will do my best to back

whatever position the party

adopts as a result of the

leadership ballot today. So if

there was a Tony Abbott

victory, you would stick to the

party line. How many others do

you believe would still cross

the floor if there was a Tony

Abbott victory? I can't speak

for them, Joe. They've got to

make their own decision and

indicate accordingly. Obviously

lots of people have exercised

the right to vote as they see

fit rather than as the party

has dictated in the course of

the last week. Some may do so

notwithstanding a Chang change

in that position and that's

their prerogative. Nick Minchin

referred to it as the

inalienable right of every M

pment. I would hope that we

find a consensus position and

move forward as solidly and

clearly as we can for the

benefit of all Australians

understanding what anal tempb

tiff government would be doing

in 2010 on the question of

climate change. Joe Hockey

reportedly saying that this

free vote is a prerequisite for

him getting the leadership.

Would a free vote solve this

issue for the Liberal Party? I

have misgivings about the free

vote concept. I think it's

important for the party to

emerge from this week of

uncertainty and disunity with a

fairly strong position on

climate change. I think it's

important for us to tell the

Australian people what we would

do if we were elected at the

2010 election. A free vote,

particularly if it goes on over

the summer and we end up with a

vote in effect in February next

year, I think has the potential

to extend the period of

uncertainty and disunity, which

would not be in the party's

interests. I would rather see

this issue determined one way

or the other this week. I would

hope that would be through

support for the ETS has - as

amended but we do need a clear

position. Can you basically

write the next election off

now? No, if we can lock in

behind a clear strong position

on climate change, we've dealt

with a number of key issues

already as a Coalition, as an

Opposition. We now need to move

to the issues which are of

concern to Australians, things

like the deteriorating state of

our national accounts, how debt

has been run up, the miss takes

the Government is making in

health and education - those

factors can contribute to a win

for the Coalition in 2010 but

we've got to get ourselves back

on track. Win something a state

of mind and we've got to get

into that state of mind to have

a chance next year. Gary

Humphries, thanks very much.

Send us a few texts from inside

that meeting this

morning. Don't think so, Joe,

sorry. Very strictly controlled

use of phones in that meeting,

but thanks for the

invitation. Thanks for talking

to us. Just to indicate, the

individual positions of the different challengers facing all those Liberal Party

members, you will recall that this morning in conversation

with Frankelly, the Liberal

senator Judith Troeth said that

she and at least 8 other

Liberal senators will likely to

use any tree vote as offered by

Hockey should he be successful