Government yields on climate bill split
The Federal Government will amend its renewable energy plan to break the Senate deadlock.
The Opposition parties want to support the 20 per cent renewable energy target, but say they can not because the Government linked the legislation to the contentious emissions trading scheme.
The Greens and the Opposition have both put forward amendments that would split the bills.
She said they had been brought forward together in the first place because of their “integrated compensation package”.
“This isn’t the best way to do it … [but] faced with the obstruction of the Liberal Party in the Senate we will take some interim steps, make some amendments to the renewable energy target legislation so it can come into effect,” she said.
She said the best way for tackling climate change is for the Liberal Party to “stop getting in the way” and allow both policies through.
“But we are in a world of Liberal obstruction because of their divisions, so we are safeguarding our renewable energy target legislation so it can come into effect even if the Liberal Party continues to block the carbon pollution reduction scheme,” she said.
Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull had not been able to exercise any leadership on behalf of the Liberal Party, which thought the easy political position was to obstruct the government’s legislation, Ms Gillard said.
“Of course, that is the worst position for the nation,” he said.
“Mr Turnbull is presiding over a rabble under the banner of the Liberal Party.
“His political party straddles those from people who deny the science of climate change, who simply don’t think it’s happening, through to people who do believe that the Liberal Party should support the Government’s legislation.”
The assisting Minister for Climate Change, Greg Combet, has told Channel 10 the Government does not want the renewable energy target held up in the Senate.
“What we’re concerned to do is to ensure that the renewable energy legislation can get through Parliament, because that’s going to unlock a lot of investment in renewable energy sources like solar power, or wind power or geothermal energy,” he said.
But the Federal Opposition says the Government’s decision shows its original position was more about playing politics.
Liberal frontbencher Christopher Pyne has told ABC1’s Insiders program the Government only linked the schemes to try and force the emissions trading scheme through the Senate.
“What the Government wanted last Thursday was the beginning of a trigger for an election – it was purely politics,” he said.
“That’s why the Renewable Energy Target bill never needed to be part of that emissions trading scheme bill, and it’s of no surprise to me at all that they will decouple that bill.”