The Rudd Labor Government was elected with a mandate to take action on climate change. The Howard Government had been frozen in time while the world warmed around it for twelve long years. This was symbolic of the Howard Government’s failure to embrace a future agenda.
Our first action in Government was to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and gain a seat at the international negotiating table. We followed that up with a whole-of-government response which has included investment in public transport, increased support for renewables and the home insulation initiative.
At the centre of our response is the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. This has been through an extensive process of development which has included a green paper, a white paper, an exposure draft and legislation that passed the House of Representatives months ago. This week we saw the future of the Liberal Party – and his name is Wilson Tuckey.
The decision by the Opposition to oppose this legislation in the Senate on Thursday represents a complete failure of leadership by Malcolm Turnbull and is the product of a dysfunctional Opposition.
In the Senate they failed to advance a single amendment to the legislation. Zero amendments driven by zero unity.
Regardless of Malcolm Turnbull’s acknowledgement of the threat of climate change, he is incapable of action because the dynamic that is leading the Opposition is that of their internal divisions.
I have seen more discipline in a riot than from those opposite when it comes to climate change. The dinosaurs such as Wilson Tuckey have been successful in ensuring that the Opposition cannot act.
We have the Triceratops of potential leaders sitting behind the Leader of the Opposition. ‘Robbasaurus Rex’ the climate sceptic, ‘Hockey-adon’ taking any opportunity to talk the economy down, and ‘Abbott-raptor,’ named for his renowned people skills who has stated that ‘the point I made about an emissions trading scheme is that I don’t like it one little bit’ – and that was when he was advocating that they should vote for it the second time around.
This week has seen the Opposition launch a discussion paper which they themselves weren’t capable of saying they supported.
If this issue wasn’t so critical for the nations’ future, their chaos wouldn’t be quite as serious. We know that the longer we delay the transition to a carbon constrained economy, the greater will be the cost.
These dinosaurs in the Coalition have become a handbrake on our future. Their failure to act has nothing to do with the science, nothing to do with economic analysis and everything to do with their internal disunity. Their decision this week to oppose action on climate change will be revisited in three months’ time and will not resolve their differences.
The Turnbull camp are at war with the Costello camp, the Hockey camp are in hand-to-hand combat with the Abbott camp, the Robb camp aren’t sure if they are still in the Turnbull camp, and the Bishop camp has been reduced to a single tent without a pole in a very, very far corner.
The Liberal caucus meeting to be held on Tuesday the 24th of November should be a beauty.