News | 10th May, 2013

Liberal MPs want rethink on Coalition’s climate change plan

10 May 2013
Jonathan Swan, Sydney Morning Herald
Two Liberal MPs want Tony Abbott to review or consider abandoning parts of his $3.2 billion plan to combat climate change in light of ''dire economic circumstances''.
Mal Washer and Dennis Jensen made the comments about the Coalition's Direct Action plan in the same week MPs broke ranks to publicly criticise Mr Abbott's paid parental leave scheme as economically irresponsible.
It is understood others within the Coalition, including senior ministers, are concerned about the policy, but will not say so publicly. The discontent about the plan comes from those concerned about tackling climate change, such as Dr Washer, and those sceptical about its existence.
Another Western Australian MP, Dennis Jensen, said Direct Action was ''not optimal policy'', although he said it was better than Labor's carbon tax or emissions trading scheme. ''I think there's room to manoeuvre after the election on Direct Action,'' said Dr Jensen, a climate sceptic. ''I would welcome debate on all sorts of big spending commitments where the benefits are arguable.''
Opposition frontbencher Malcolm Turnbull, who lost his party leadership over his support for Labor's emissions trading scheme, has described the Coalition's Direct Action policy as a ''farce'' and ''bullshit''.
''It is not possible to criticise the new Coalition policy on climate change because it does not exist,'' Mr Turnbull wrote in a 2009 opinion column.
''The Liberal Party is currently led by people whose conviction on climate change is that it is 'crap' … Any policy that is announced will simply be a con, an environmental figleaf to cover a determination to do nothing,'' he wrote then.
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