Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant or accept liability for the accuracy or usefulness of the transcripts. These are copied directly from the broadcaster's website.
Abbott pushes Opposition vote for ETS -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

PETER CAVE: Malcolm Turnbull's preferred strategy of passing the Government's contentious emissions
trading laws has won an influential backer.

The Liberal frontbencher Tony Abbott has become the first member of Mr Turnbull's shadow cabinet to
definitively support the plan but his statements have once again laid bare the Opposition's
divisions on the issue because other prominent Liberals are still saying the laws should be
blocked.

Emma Griffiths reports from Canberra.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: Tony Abbott has been enforcing a broadcast blackout, declining ABC interview
requests because of commitments given in relation to the publication of his book.

News Limited will publish an extract and today its newspaper also featured an opinion piece from
the Liberal frontbencher on emissions trading.

In it Tony Abbott lays out his case for supporting the Government's plan to tackle climate change.

He says it's a plausible way of limiting carbon emissions without imposing any obvious costs on
voters and Mr Abbott believes the Opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull is right to argue that the
Coalition should ultimately pass the bill.

To him it's not so much a matter of policy conviction as political reality.

It's due to go to a vote in the Senate on the 13th of August but another senior Liberal Senator
Nick Minchin says on that occasion the Opposition will oppose it.

NICK MINCHIN: It is Malcolm's position, my position and the position of the whole of the Coalition
that this bill should not be before the Parliament and we will vote it down in August.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: The Opposition knows that decision could eventually lead the nation to a double
dissolution election - and that's an outcome Malcolm Turnbull wants to avoid.

He could push for amendments in the hope the Government bends but Labor would be sorely tempted to
insist on its original plan and bring the laws back before Parliament where a second no vote would
give it a trigger to dissolve both Houses and go to an early poll.

Tony Abbott says that's not a fight the Coalition can win.

The Liberal frontbencher Scott Morrison has told ABC2's News Breakfast that the Opposition could
change its mind in between votes - meaning the views of Nick Minchin and Tony Abbott could both
hold true.

SCOTT MORRISON: What Tony is talking about is a second vote. What Nick is talking about is the
first vote and on the first vote at the moment the Government is not considering any amendments and
in its current form the Coalition has very strong reservations about this bill and as said, we'd
vote it down if the Government does not change it.

If the Government wants to come and talk to us and be genuine about that then of course we are
going to listen to them but Tony is saying ultimately, at the end of the day, that he believes the
bill should pass through.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: And do you agree with that?

SCOTT MORRISON: Well I think at the end of the day if the Government doesn't make changes we have a
real problem.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: The Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is honing Labor's game plan.

KEVIN RUDD: The national interest dictates that all people of goodwill support the legislation
which is in the Parliament and instead what we have on the part of the Opposition is Senator
Minchin speaking for Malcolm Turnbull; today we have Tony Abbott speaking for Malcolm Turnbull. But
we don't have Malcolm Turnbull speaking for Malcolm Turnbull.

It's time that we actually got fair dinkum about this and found out exactly what Mr Turnbull plans
to do.

Senator Minchin seems to be saying the Coalition will oppose this. Mr Abbott today says the
Coalition will support this. Mr Turnbull's position is: I don't really know.

But you know this is not just a political game. It's serious stuff about what will happen in the
Senate with the passage of this legislation and it lies within the hands of the Liberal and
National parties.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: Stay tuned for many more months of political manoeuvring ahead.

PETER CAVE: Emma Griffiths reporting from Canberra.