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Opposition opposes carbon trading start date -

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Opposition opposes carbon trading start date

Broadcast: 25/07/2008

Reporter: Dana Robertson

Shadow Treasurer Malcolm Turnbull has fallen into line with his leader Brendan Nelson and abandoned
a target date for the start of an emissions trading scheme. The change in position is a blow to the
Government's plan to introduce its carbon trading scheme by 2010.

Transcript

VIRGINIA TRIOLI, PRESENTER: The Shadow Treasurer Malcolm Turnbull has fallen into line with his
leader Brendan Nelson and abandoned the target date for the start of an emissions trading scheme.

The change in position is a blow to the Government's plan to introduce its carbon trading scheme by
2010.

Without Coalition support, the Government will find it difficult to get the legislation past the
Senate without negotiating with the Greens and the Independents.

Dana Robertson reports.

DANA ROBERTSON, REPORTER: Perfect one day, ecological disaster the next.

That's the doomsday picture Kevin Rudd's painting of the Great Barrier Reef if Labor's emissions
trading scheme isn't embraced by its political foes.

KEVIN RUDD, PRIME MINISTER: We need, as Australia, to act locally and globally on the challenge of
climate change because if we fail, great assets like the Great Barrier Reef will be fatally in
peril.

DANA ROBERTSON: But the prospect of gaining crucial Senate support from the Coalition is slipping
even further away. The Opposition's flatly refused to back the Government's proposed 2010 start
date. Malcolm Turnbull had supported 2012, but now he's fallen into line behind

Brendan Nelson and even that's off the table.

MALCOLM TURNBULL, SHADOW TREASUER: You cannot put up a start date until you know what it is you are
starting. Labor does not have a final proposal before us. We have got to look at what they propose
and then formulate our response to it.

CHRISTINE MILNE, GREENS SENATOR: The Liberal Party has dealt itself into complete irrelevance and
the Nationals even more so with its ridiculous round table of sceptics, so I think the Government
must recognise soon that if it wants to get a serious response to climate change, then it needs to
start negotiating and talking to the Greens.

KEVIN RUDD: It's going to be tough, difficult and hard, but let me tell you, it's a better course
of action than burying your head in the sand and pretending it's not happening.

DANA ROBERTSON: The Liberals will convene in Canberra next week for a special meeting of MPs and
Senators. The Party's under pressure to clarify its stance on emissions trading. But finding
consensus won't be easy, especially when the leaders' mandate is as tenuous as ever.

Backroom talk of drafting Peter Costello into the top job has now spilled out into the open.

BARNABY JOYCE, NATIONALS SENATOR: He would be a very, very good captain. It is a complete waste to
have one of your best players sitting back in the change room. We've got to put him into the front
row.

JULIE BISHOP, DEPUTY OPPOSITION LEADER: Brendan was elected the leader of the Party last November
and all this talk of, you know, who's going to take over the leadership and is Peter Costello going
to take over the leadership - this all entirely pointless. The leadership of the Liberal Party is
not some plaything of individuals to hand around.

KEVIN RUDD: The problem with the Liberal Party is not its personalities - it goes to the core of
its policies.

DANA ROBERTSON: If only it were so simple.

Dana Robertson, Lateline.