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Big polluters the main game: Costello -

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Big polluters the main game: Costello

ELEANOR HALL: The former federal treasurer Peter Costello urged his Coalition colleagues to
exercise caution over the introduction of an emissions trading scheme. But he said Australia should
not act before large polluting nations reveal their commitments.

Mr Costello made the comments as he launched the Liberals campaign in the by-election for his seat
of Higgins this morning.

PETER COSTELLO: Well, I don't think anything is going to happen in Copenhagen so I think what
Australia ought to do is Australia ought to get what is right for Australia.

Bear in mind you are talking about a scheme that will last 10 or 20 or 30 or 40 years and it is
important to get it right.

REPORTER: So Nick Minchin has been right to take the action that he has been taking?

PETER COSTELLO: Oh, look, I am not getting into who is right or who is wrong in Canberra. I
couldn't even figure it out when I was there.

REPORTER 2: Do you still believe it could be damaging for Australia to lock in emissions trading
legislation before Copenhagen?

PETER COSTELLO: Look, we'll see what happens at Copenhagen but I don't think anything dramatic or
new is going to happen at Copenhagen in December.

The ETS will be around for 10, 20, 30 or 40 years. You know, I'd make sure that we get that right
for Australia actually.

REPORTER 3: You've said without the big countries, jobs will go offshore and prices will go up in
Australia. We could be about to go ahead with legislation without those countries now.

PETER COSTELLO: Well, I'd like to know what the big emitters are doing because if the issue of
course is to affect global emissions, what Australia does won't affect global emissions. What China
does will affect global emissions. What the US does will affect global emissions so I'd like to

I think everybody who is interested in global emissions would like to know what the big emitters
are doing.

REPORTER 4: So what is the point of Australia introducing such legislation now?

PETER COSTELLO: Well, Australia is looking at its own interests and its own contribution. That is
the way I would look at it but if you are looking at what is going to happen at a global level, I
think we'd all like to know what those big emitters are going to do.

REPORTER 5: How is the ETS deal likely to affect Malcolm Turnbull's leadership?

PETER COSTELLO: I'm the wrong person to ask. I'm not there. That is a matter for MPs. They are
having a meeting at the moment and I'm sure they'll work it out.

ELEANOR HALL: That is the former federal treasurer Peter Costello speaking to reporters in
Melbourne including The World Today's Simon Lauder.