2 December 2009
After countless inquiries, weeks of negotiation and 50 hours of Senate debate, the government's emissions trading scheme was finally put to a vote today.
As expected, it went the way of Malcolm Turnbull's leadership.
Only two brave Liberals were prepared to cross the floor, Judith Troeth and Sue Boyce. Other Liberal moderates sat awkwardly, bit their tongues and took one for the team.
Tony Abbott was clearly chuffed with his second victory in as many days. And with the adrenalin rushing went about significantly toughening the Coalition's climate policy even further.
With none of the "consultation" he promised a day ago, the new leader announced the opposition no longer supported any target to cut emissions beyond the bare minimum 5 percent. He said the Coalition no longer supported any price on carbon at all. And for good measure floated the idea of nuclear power.
If this was a sign of what's to come, Liberals had better buckle up. We'll see how long the moderates will bite their tongues before complaining.
As for the government, all those deadlines and threats to pass the ETS are now looking pretty hollow. While sources insist they now have a double dissolution trigger, it's not about to be pulled.
The government will bring back the legislation in February for a third attempt.
More time for the government to do a better job selling its scheme to voters and more time to assess how much of a threat if any, Tony Abbott poses.
Comments are moderated and will not appear until they have been approved.
Blair Donaldson, Foster, Victoria (7 December 2009 1:50PM) wrote:
So now you clever journalists in Canberra have had your fun undermining Turnbull so the mad Monk and the redneck right can drag the Liberal party back to the dark ages, will you apply as much effort trying to find out what Abbott actually stands for (this week) and highlighting his multi-positional, hypocritical stand on climate change? Australia needs a decent opposition but the right-wing mob you guys have been accommodating are a joke. Rudd must find it hard to believe his good fortune.
John Pollock, Mount Pritchard (6 December 2009 6:26AM) wrote:
I was a little puzzled at the reaction to yesterday's by election. From memory by elections usually result in a loss of votes for incumbent governments. In both of these blue ribbon Opposition seats the Opposition polled less than at the 2007 Election but seem to think they did well. Did somebody change the rules while I was not watching?
Will Bill, Frankston (4 December 2009 3:27PM) wrote:
With the advent of the paradigm shift in the way people world wide now view climate change do to Climategate, I believe Tony Abbott has done the right thing. Climate Fraud will cost everyone way too much money for nothing in return. Rudd has already stuck it to us once I hope Mr. Abbott can stop him from do it again!!
Norm Headford, Ballina, NSW (4 December 2009 7:51AM) wrote:
More time too for Political Editors such as yourself to bring a sharper focus onto the Government's ETS rather than producing frivilious items about an athletic Federal politician wearing speedos.
Anne, Qld (3 December 2009 7:14PM) wrote:
Top news stories in Australia NSW politics and tiger woods...what happened to the fraudulent behavior of a scientist fudging figures on climate change? Question: if leaders are going to Copenhagen to have global policy on climate based on bodgey figures and fraudulent behavior isn't that aiding and abeting fraud?
GM, Tullamarine (3 December 2009 5:38PM) wrote:
David, I think you have missed what has happened in recent times in the climate debate, you know the debate that was not necessary because the science was settled? It may come as a surprise to biased souls such as you that out there there are taxpaying Australians that are fed up of the garbage that has been rammed down their throat by the Anthropogenic Global Warming carpetbaggers. The Hadley CRU fraudulent email leak, the news you probably conveniently hope will disappear, has left the emperor without clothes. I am one of the many thousands of taxpayers and internet users that have campaigned day in day out for the last few months to tell Liberal senators and MPs to fight the ETS scam tax. I am part of a multitude of taxpayers that will start going after the Labor lemmings that support Kevin Rudd and Penny Wong without questioning the “science”. Just a thought but I seriously think that if Rudd calls an early election he could be in for a surprise. When you grow up do you still plan to be an investigative journalist? Should this be the case could you start informing yourself so that we taxpayers do not have to do it on our own?
Nettie, Brisbane (3 December 2009 3:42PM) wrote:
Hey David don't you think it is time you focussed on the government for a change and asked them a few hard questions like how come in October 2007 Kevin Rudd said on the 7.30Report that his ETS would cost Australians $1 per year? That is the scheme he took to the election and for which he and other ministers now say they have a mandate. No mention then of $1100 per househould so no mandate I'd suggest. Also Rudd's shallow response to questions regarding Tony Abbot and his budgie smugglers which you showed on your Playing Politics today could have been followed up by yourself with an explanation to viewers who may be unaware that Abbott was not just having a frolic on the beach but actually doing something worthwhile like saving lives from the surf perhaps. His continuing interest in indigenous affairs could also rate a mention now and then too.
Paul, Brunswick, Vic (3 December 2009 3:33PM) wrote:
Hi, David, I just wish you and your colleagues acted as 'independent thinkers' and presented a balanced view. What have you guys been promised to keep the unpleasant aspects of the ETS hidden from view? The internet seems to be the only reliable source. Will you support the government if they propose that the internet should be filtered, to protect us from 'misleading' (read: unwelcome) information? The way, kind of, the ABC site doesn't yield any result for 'Climategate'? Best regards Paul
Will Bill, Frankston (3 December 2009 2:22PM) wrote:
Ironic!! Australia has been on the world news media today more than it has over the last 5 years, especially in the USA and Britain, as leading the charge against G20 because of Climate fraud (climategate)by stopping the government from passing the ETS legislation!! Tony Abbott, could be more popular then Rudd could ever could be within the worlds eye over the next couple of months!! A group of US Senate’s being interview live on the TV news said they will be sending a delegation to g20 Summit Copenhagen to stop OBAMA from signing any agreement(s). In short the US Senate delegation will undermine OBAMA because of Climate Fraud. SKYNEWS Check out yourself!! And, remember what I said in my last post, Tony Abbott will be next Prime Minister in a very short time
Ross, Newcastle, NSW (3 December 2009 12:09PM) wrote:
"Only two brave Liberals were prepared to cross the floor" Nice unbiased reporting as usual David.
Jazza, Vic (3 December 2009 9:46AM) wrote:
Rubbish! Your considerable bias shows! The best thing for the country was to turn this awful scheme down...whatever it took (Sound familiar, yes that was Richo's LABOR mantra) If we had a kilometre of atmosphere, we'd find that half an inch was CO2 from human activity, of that Australia's contribution would be less than a hair's width!And that is overcoming all the rest that's natural and NOT linear for modelling?? Bosh! It's you fairy tale believers -who accept anything without due scrutiny from your real heroes-- who are the climate deniers! Why don't you pull apart the silly Govt plan--it is a CO2 Protected Rorters Scheme, go try it. Does nothing for the atmossphere or world emissions,anyway or the Greens would have yelled Yippee! . And how about asking Rudd when he's game to come back "home" if he is going to sign away Australia's sovereignty at Copenhagen? That's the elephant in the room the MSM is trying hard to ignore along with "Climategate" Heard of that?
Dianeh, NSW (3 December 2009 9:14AM) wrote:
What is your point here? A large majority 55 to 29 voted in the secret ballot to vote down the ETS. And now you say that those will cause trouble on the new policy (which has not yet been decided by the party BTW). Are you saying that the clear majority should just buckle under to the minority because they have the same view on an ETS as you do.
Grant Watt, glenning valley (3 December 2009 6:47AM) wrote:
"Only two brave Liberals"? "Liberals had better buckle up" "How much of a threat,if any, Tony Abbott poses" Anothe "fair and balanced" summary Mr.Speers.
Gordon, Adelaide (2 December 2009 9:59PM) wrote:
David, You say that only two brave Liberals were prepared to cross the floor in today's vote on the CPRS Bill. Many would say they are misguided. Steve Lewis on Agenda this afternoon called Tony Abbott an "extremist" with your obvious approval. Does it ever cross your mind that you daily alienate at least half your viewers? Sky News is not your personal fiefdom and it would serve you well to pay more respect to those who look to you for a balanced point of view. Gordon
Jim Gall, South Australia (2 December 2009 8:26PM) wrote:
Although I have enjoyed your coverage of the last few days of politics, I must now protest vehemently about your current attack on Tony Abbott and the Coalition. GOOD GRIEF - the guy has been in power for 1 day and your questioning is continuously about every single thing he says, what are their policies, etc, etc, etc. SHUT UP please - The answer is that they will be discussing their policies fully before telling Sky News. Why in hell are you not questioing the Government - ie MS Gillard, etc on WHAT WENT WRONG IN YOUR ETS defeat - did Mr Rudd not inform the people, etc. You are showing your total bias against the Libs ang FOR the Government and you have become very boring now - LESS BIAS PLEASE
Ken, Canberra (2 December 2009 7:33PM) wrote:
Instead of questioning Christopher Pine why don't you question Guilia Gilard about the governments ETS policy, the media has failed to advise the Australian people. Mr Rudd won the election because he promised lower grocery and fuel prices, he'd stop whaling, by sending the Navy down there and fix the hospitals. He said had all the answers when he gained government, so why has he spent $1bn on consultants. Rudd relaxed the immigration visa's resulting in 48 boats reaching our shores, this year. Rudd's score after 2 years in government or overseas is 0/10, absolute zero.
Tom, Aust (2 December 2009 5:50PM) wrote:
Basically a good piece, David, but think about it. Australians hate early elections, so the only way the govt can justify one is to show very clearly that they have EVERYTHING to get the ETS passed. That's the logic of the "one more try" Julia Gillard announced today: it is to show ordinary Australians that they have bent over backwards to get the legislation through and now they have no choice but to dissolve parliament. Such a strategy has the advantage of being based on the facts: they HAVE tried everything, from negotiations, to accepting amendments, to giving the Libs more time. Australian's want something done about climate change. They are sick of the dallying. By electing a former Howard-govt Minister as their leader who is now pursuing a "go slow" strategy, the Libs have ensured that the people will blame them (the Libs) and not the govt for the failure to pass the ETS. Here's the thing: the government doesn't just want a trigger for a double dissolution, they want a target as well, and Tony Abbott and his rightwing backers in the party have offered themselves up as a huge one. No scare campaign they can run can overcome the facts of the matter. They will lose an election big time.