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Labor MP says carbon tax repeal should go ahe -

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TIM PALMER: One Federal Labor MP says the party should allow the new Government to repeal the carbon tax to expose the Coalition's Direct Action climate policy.

Several senior Labor figures have argued the party should block any move to scrap carbon pricing but South Australian MP Nick Champion says while Labor can do that in the Lower House, it should abstain in the Senate. He says voters would then get a chance to see the effect of the Coalition's alternative Direct Action policy, which he's described as a "disaster".

Nick Champion spoke to Naomi Woodley in Canberra.

NICK CHAMPION: I think that we should do this because I think the policy would be a disaster. I think it would see emissions rise. I think it would see electricity prices rise, I think it would see us not meet our carbon target. And I think it would waste $3 billion in the direct action scheme.

Given that it would be a policy disaster, I think it would be a disaster for Mr Abbott, it would be a disaster for the Liberal Party and it would hasten their demise. And in effect, I believe if the Liberal Party want to hang themselves, well we should give them as much as rope as they need.

NAOMI WOODLEY: But as responsible members of Parliament and representative members of Parliament, don't you have a responsibility to the public to ensure that bad policy, as you argue this one is, isn't put in place?

NICK CHAMPION: Well if people vote, the majority of people vote for bad policy, then they simply need to see that experiment fulfilled. It's not our job to save the Liberal Party from bad policy and it's not our job to save the Australian people from bad policy if that's what they choose, if that's what they vote for in an election.

NAOMI WOODLEY: You're expressing a view contrary to some of your senior colleagues, who say that you have to stand up for and fight for the policy which the ALP government worked to put in place over the past six years.

Don't they have a point? Don't you need to be seen to be standing for something, which you did argue for so strongly?

NICK CHAMPION: Well look, the Labor Party stands for a lot of things. We stand for caring for disability care, we stand for keeping people's jobs, we stand for fair wages, we stand for a lot of good things, protecting auto industry and manufacturing jobs.

But look, let's not forget, emissions trading was really the product of the Howard government. It was the product of, you know, the Greens Party. It's been a product of a bipartisan consensus. That consensus is now broken down and I don't see why the Labor Party should necessarily stay wedded to this concept when everybody else has walked away from it in one form or another.

That doesn't mean we shouldn't tackle climate change and the Labor Party could have a range of policies based around regulation and lifting emissions standards for instance in cars and the like, and wait in effect, for the bipartisan consensus on carbon pricing to return.

NAOMI WOODLEY: Is the approach to this policy in particular though one of the factors that you and your colleagues will need to consider when you go about choosing your new leader?

NICK CHAMPION: I don't think it's tied up with leadership. I think it's more tied up with how we are going to deal with an Abbott Government. And I think we should choose our battles very, very carefully.

And I think where there is some clarity around his platform with the Australian people then we should, you know, we should not unnecessarily obstruct his policy, particularly where there's I think bad policy which he has a mandate for.

You know, parental leave is a similar case. I think if Tony Abbott wants to give $75,000 a year to millionaires to have a baby, well, we should allow him to implement that and then hold him accountable.

TIM PALMER: The Labor Member for Wakefield, Nick Champion, speaking to Naomi Woodley.