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ETS scheme up in smoke with bill on the back- -

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The Senate has decided to delay a vote on the Federal Government's Carbon Pollution Reduction
Scheme until August. The Government had been hoping to get its emissions trading scheme passed
before Parliament rose for the winter break.

PETER CAVE: The Federal Government has lost its battle to get a vote on its emissions trading
scheme before the Parliament rises for the winter break.

The Senate has delayed the vote on the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme until August.

Our chief political correspondent Lyndal Curtis has joined us now.

Lyndal, why couldn't the Government get the Senate to vote now?

LYNDAL CURTIS: Well, quite simply Peter, the Government never had the numbers. The Coalition was
never on board, Senator Xenophon, the independent from South Australia, wasn't on board and the
Family First Senator Steven Fielding said this week that he wouldn't be voting for it either.

So the Government in the end didn't oppose Senator Xenophon's motion to put the vote off until
August. There will be a vote in August and Senator Xenophon says that will happen. The Parliament
will sit until they vote.

PETER CAVE: Senator Xenophon did want the Productivity Commission to look at the issue of emissions
trading. What happened to that wish?

LYNDAL CURTIS: The Senate did call on, did vote to call on the Government to refer the matter of
modelling different sorts of emissions trading schemes to the Productivity Commission but the
Government doesn't have to accept that reference and while there's been no formal decision, it's
highly unlikely that it will ask the Productivity Commission to do that.

So accepting that, the Coalition and Senator Xenophon are paying for their own modelling to be done
by a private firm, Frontier Economics. That work is expected to be completed in time for the
Parliament to resume on August 11 and it will look at the sorts of different models you can have
for an emissions trading scheme and will report back in time, as I said, for Parliament to sit in
August.

PETER CAVE: In the normal course of events, the ETS scheme would have been at the centre of
attention in Canberra this week but given the events of the OzCar affair has almost completely
overshadowed it. Would the Government be disappointed by that?

LYNDAL CURTIS: Well while the Government senators Ministers Penny Wong and Stephen Conroy were
speaking loudly in the Senate today calling on the Coalition to vote while the Government has
wanted the pressure to be on the Coalition over an emissions trading scheme because they believe
that business wants the scheme and the Government also believes that the Coalition is internally
divided, I would think that the Government is privately happy with the outcome because there will
be a vote in August.

And I think if the Government had the choice between keeping up the pressure on the Coalition over
emissions trading or having the sorts of pressure we've seen on the Opposition Leader Malcolm
Turnbull this week, they'd take the latter every time.

PETER CAVE: Lyndal Curtis, our chief political correspondent on the line from Canberra there.