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.
Turnbull lays down the law on ETS -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

ELEANOR HALL: To the Federal Parliament where the Liberal Party leader Malcolm Turnbull has moved
to slap down dissenters on his backbench, indicating that he may quit the leadership if his climate
change strategy isn't adopted.

Mr Turnbull says he's not prepared to lead a party that has nothing constructive to say on how to
deal with climate change.

But his move to assert his authority may backfire. One rebel Wilson Tuckey says that if it came to
a vote he would be prepared to look for a new leader.

In Canberra Emma Griffiths reports.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: One Liberal backbencher has described the past six months of opposition infighting
over the ETS as a slow motion train crash. The point of impact is approaching.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: I am asserting my authority as the leader of the Liberal Party and the Leader of
the Opposition.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: Malcolm Turnbull has sent the dissidents on his backbench a message - it's his way
or he will hit the highway.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: I am not prepared to lead a party that has nothing constructive to say.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: The party leader wants to negotiate with the Government by seeking to change the
emissions trading scheme through a series of amendments.

That process has been signed off by the Opposition frontbench and amendments are being drafted.

But some Liberal MPs believe there is no room for negotiation. They want the Opposition to fight
the ETS even if it means risking an early double dissolution election.

When he fronts the party room later this month Malcolm Turnbull knows his leadership will be on the

MALCOLM TURNBULL: If party room were to reject my recommendations to them that would obviously be a
leadership issue. That's perfectly plain, quite clear. And I am asserting my leadership and my
authority as the leader of the party.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: The ultimatum hasn't swayed one of Malcolm Turnbull's most vocal internal critics.

WILSON TUCKEY: I will not vote for an emissions trading scheme. I will not vote for any amendments
to the scheme.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: The Liberal backbencher Wilson Tuckey is ready to call his leader's bluff.

WILSON TUCKEY: He's virtually said, well unless you agree with me you better get another leader.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: And what do you think of that?

WILSON TUCKEY: Well that leaves only one option doesn't it? But the reality is that this is a very
important issue, as he says...

EMMA GRIFFITHS: What do you mean by it leaves only one option?

WILSON TUCKEY: Well if the leader goes into the party room and says support me or sack me, the
option then for those who don't agree with his ultimatum is to find somebody else.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: That's an option Wilson Tuckey is prepared to take up.

WILSON TUCKEY: We are now in a situation as I speak to you of a leader saying, I think it's right,
the rest of you are wrong and I'll put my job on the line.

Now that will have an effect on some people. It will not change mine and a significant number of
members from voting against the proposal.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: National Party MPs have already indicated they will buck Malcolm Turnbull's
authority. It's unclear how many Liberal MPs share that view.

Only two others have publicly outed themselves against the emissions trading scheme - the South
Australian Senator Cory Bernardi and the Victorian Senator Julian McGauran.

But there have been newspaper reports that more than two-thirds of the backbench oppose their
leader's plans to negotiate with the Government.

However many there are, Malcolm Turnbull is taking them on.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: There are a few individuals that are more concerned at, you know, internal
matters than on promoting the cause of the party or of the nation.

ELEANOR HALL: That's the Opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull ending that report from Emma Griffiths.