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Coalition to adopt deeper greenhouse cuts tha -

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Reporter: Sabra Lane

ELEANOR HALL: But first to the political battle over climate change in Canberra.

The Federal Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull says the Coalition will cut Australia's greenhouse
gases further and faster than the Government.

He says that his plan will not have the severe impact on businesses and jobs that the Government's
planned Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will have.

But the Federal Climate Change Minister Penny Wong has dismissed this as 'policy on the run'.

In Canberra, Sabra Lane reports.

SABRA LANE: The Federal Government says an emissions trading scheme will be up and running in 16
months time.

The bill to set it up isn't before Parliament however, the Minister for Climate Change Penny Wong
says a draft will be released in the next week. Senator Wong admits the Government will have to
negotiate with Opposition or crossbench Senators to get the scheme through Parliament.

PENNY WONG: We will have a dialogue with all Senators from the Coalition as well as from the
crossbenchers. The reality though of this policy area is that there is not a cost free path to
change our economy, there is not a cost free path to tackle climate change and Mr Turnbull, if he
is pretending that there is an easy cost free way to reduce Australia's emissions, then he is
simply not up to the hard economic task of this sort of reform.

SABRA LANE: That swipe against Mr Turnbull, is in reaction to his pledge this morning, that a
Coalition government would make even deeper cuts to Australia's greenhouse gases, than what Labor's
promised.

The Federal Government says if the world agrees on carbon emissions cuts at the end of this year in
Copenhagen, Australia will reduce its greenhouse gases by 15 per cent by 2020.

If there's no deal, Australia will only commit to 5 per cent.

The Opposition leader told AM neither target is good enough.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well certainly we should cut our emissions by more than what Mr Rudd has proposed
and I've set out how we can do that. I gave a speech in January which showed how we could, at
relatively low cost and with great additional benefits to our environment, cut an additional
150-million tonnes a year by 2020 and do that very, very realistically, without rocket science
technology.

SABRA LANE: Mr Turnbull says his proposal would protect more jobs and businesses than the
Government's scheme.

Liberal Senator Eric Abetz.

ERIC ABETZ: We believe that there are alternative methods of approaching this issue rather than the
Emissions Trading Scheme and the very ham-fisted approach that Labor has taken so that is what we
are fleshing out and we have to put a detailed proposal to the Australian people.

SABRA LANE: Senator Abetz says all of Mr Turnbull's Liberal colleagues are in favour of the
stronger policy stance.

ERIC ABETZ: Oh, yes Malcolm has got the support of the party room and he will take the party room
with him on this.

SABRA LANE: But Coalition partners, the Nationals don't appear to be on side just yet.

National's Senator Ron Boswell.

RON BOSWELL: Let's just see what the inquiry, let's just see what the inquiry brings out.

SABRA LANE: The inquiry Senator Boswell's referring to is the likely Senate inquiry into the
Emissions Trading Scheme.

Last week, the Government killed off its own House of Representatives inquiry into it, citing
politicisation and business uncertainty.

The Coalition's indicated today it will resurrect the inquiry in the Senate with the same terms of
reference. The Greens agree, but want a broader inquiry - they'll also need Senators Xenophon and
Fielding to vote for it.

Liberal Senator George Brandis.

GEORGE BRANDIS: The Government is in complete disarray on this issue. They called a Parliamentary
inquiry the week before last. They stifled it within seven days. The reason they did is because
Wayne Swan, who is a deep ETS sceptic, was rolled in Cabinet by Penny Wong.

Now this is a very serious matter. The Government identified this as the most important issue for
this generation. They have been in power for some 15 months now and they still can't get the policy
straight.

The Cabinet is divided and the Government is all over the place.

SABRA LANE: The flip-flop allegation's also being levelled the Coalition. Labor backbencher, Sharon
Bird.

SHARON BIRD: The frustrating thing in dealing with the Opposition on this is that it is like trying
to catch a greased pig. They are all over the shop on it. Just when you think they've got a
position, they change it again.

So it is very difficult to engage seriously with them on it.

SABRA LANE: The Greens have applauded Malcolm Turnbull's promise of deeper carbon cuts - Green's
Senator Christine Milne.

CHRISTINE MILNE: It certainly puts pressure on the Rudd Government but it also gives the Australian
community some encouragement that with the Greens and the Coalition now pushing for a much stronger
target, it['s leaving the Rudd Government isolated in the lead up to Copenhagen.

SABRA LANE: The Senator is also challenging Mr Turnbull to cough up the details on his carbon cuts.

CHRISTINE MILNE: Until he actually states a target, it is just rhetoric and its positioning as far
as the Government is concerned. Let's hear the target and then we will get into some serious
debate.

SABRA LANE: For now, it's taken the focus off the Opposition's internal debate and divisions over
Peter Costello and policy.

Liberal backbencher Jamie Briggs.

JAMIE BRIGGS: Look, sometimes in families there is internal disputes which unfortunately get out
into the public. I'm sure you have had Christmas days which you haven't enjoyed some members of
your family.

We see that in the Labor Party too. There is a nice analysis in one of your papers today about
Labor's internal critics of each other. That happens from time to time. We will get on with the
business of holding the Government to account.

ELEANOR HALL: That is Liberal backbencher Jamie Briggs, ending that report by Sabra Lane in
Canberra.