| 11.08,09. 02:44 PM |
Liberals and Turnbull warned over climate laws
August 11, 2009 12:00AM
The Government is also using the threat to leverage Liberal votes for a Bill reforming the system of political donations, to be re-introduced to the Senate next week.
That pressure will influence today's critical meetings of Coalition MPs when Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull will face criticism from a minority of colleagues.
The Punch: Smackdown a warm-up bout ofr Libs party room
Piers Akerman's blog: The politics of envy with Coalition alternative
Yesterday Climate Change Minister Penny Wong said there was a deadline this year for passage of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Bill and the Liberals should meet it.
"And if the Liberals fail to deliver, the Rudd Government is not going to give up on this," Senator Wong told the National Press Club.
"We will press on with this reform for as long as we have to. The Australian people have made clear they want action on climate change.
"The Liberal Party can do this the easy way, or the hard way. One way or the other, we are going to get this through."
This is seen as a reference to a double dissolution should the CPRS legislation, certain to be rejected on Thursday, be again defeated when re-introduced in November.
If Labor won the Double-D election, a joint sitting of Parliament could pass the legislation.
Senator Wong's warning came soon after Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull released a study which he said showed the Government's plans were too harsh on households, small business and regions.
He launched an alternative plan, commissioned from Frontier Economics, which offered a more gradual movement towards lower carbon emissions that was "greener, cheaper, smarter", and cost the electricity industry less as long as it gradually cut back emissions.
"This report represents the modelling the Government has refused to do," said Mr Turnbull, accusing the Government of a "reckless rush" to passing legislation.
But Mr Turnbull said the plan he launched was not Coalition policy and the study was being used merely as a discussion paper.
Frontier Economics said its model was 40 per cent cheaper for the economy than the Government's between 2011 and 2030 but would remove twice as much carbon pollution - 10 per cent of emissions - based on year 2000 levels.
Under the Frontier model household electricity prices would rise by less than a sixth of the amount forecast under the Government plan.
There would be significant jobs growth in regional Australia, but job cuts under the Government scheme, Frontier Economics said.