Guest essay by Eric Worrall
With the growing likelihood of an open party revolt and a leadership challenge, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been forced into a humiliating backdown over his efforts to enshrine Australia’s Paris Agreement pledges into legislation.
Turnbull backflips on emissions as Dutton challenge emerges
by Malcolm Farr and Charis Chang
18th Aug 2018 4:43 AM
AN INTERNAL coalition uprising has forced Malcolm Turnbull to dump plans to legislate cuts in carbon emissions.
The Prime Minister is now planning to control emissions by regulation instead – an option he condemned only days ago.
A 26 per cent reduction target was established by the 2015 Paris Agreement and settled when Tony Abbott was Prime Mimister. It is an integral part of Mr Turnbull’s National Energy Guarantee.
Mr Turnbull now looks to be dumping the target from his energy policy as he faces the prospect of a rebellion in the House of Representatives and running battles in the Senate.
“Labor wants to have it done by regulation so that the Parliament would not have a voice,” Mr Turnbull said on Tuesday. “Now, we believe in democracy.
“We believe the Parliament should have a say in this and so if we legislate that, then a subsequent government – whether it’s of our side of politics or the other – would have to persuade both houses of parliament to make any change to it, and that is a great security.”
Senior ministers Friday rallied to support Mr Turnbull’s leadership after suggestion former Prime Minister was supporting a challenge.
“Anyone who listens to Tony Abbott has rocks in his head,” said one minister.
However, the NEG policy, strongly supported by business and industry, was looking like a victim of the unrest.
Leadership rumours swirled on Friday with 2GB Ray Hadley saying there will “100 per cent” be a move against the PM in the next two weeks.
Malcolm Turnbull’s “Dog Pooh Yoghurt” green energy policy, which attempts to enshrine the position of renewables in Australia’s energy mix, has gone down like a lead balloon with the right wing of the Liberal Party (Australian Conservatives). Turnbull’s position has not been helped by a long string of news polls indicating his government will lose when he calls an election.
We don’t know if we shall get Tony Abbott back – but at least we shall get rid of Malcolm Turnbull, either in the next few weeks, or after he loses the next election.