Remember that the before the last election, Gillard said she would view victory as a mandate for a carbon price and promised to legislate a carbon price in the next term as part of a bold series of reforms that included school funding, education and health.
seeking a bipartisan agreement with Mr Abbott on measures to achieve the goal of a 5 per cent reduction on the year 2000 level of Australia’s greenhouse emissions by 2020 without a carbon tax and an emissions trading scheme.
That was on the say so of “a source with close knowledge of the matter”.
The dead tree version of the article makes it clear that the Gillard proposal was never seen by Cabinet. It was put to and rejected by other members of the Strategic Priories and Budget Committee of Cabinet (‘Gang of Four’) that is by Rudd, Swan and Tanner, and then by Penny Wong as environment minister. Also the proposed approach of not having an ETS was only to last while Abbott retained the leadership. According to that one source.
Gillard’s response was that she wouldn’t be talking about cabinet decisions but she flatly rejected the report.
I don’t talk about cabinet decisions, but I’m certainly happy to talk about my beliefs and in doing so I’ll make it very clear that those matters reported today have no veracity or truthfulness to them.
I’ve always believed that climate change is real. I’ve always believed that carbon pollution caused by human activity needs to be cut. I’ve always believed that in order to do that the most efficient way of doing it, the best way of doing it was by putting a price on carbon.
And I have never believed that this nation could reach its 5 per cent emissions reduction target other than by putting a price on carbon.
Of course it would be better if this big economic reform was bipartisan. Of course it would. I offered Tony Abbott a seat on the MPCCC.
Gillard always appears to have been mindful of the advantages of bipartisanship on the issue. In this post I reported on Pamela Williams’ article in the Fin Review (from more than one source):
Gillard spoke forcefully in favour of dropping the [CPRS] until a bipartisan position could be re-established with the Opposition.
That was clearly a different occasion with a dozen or more attending a crisis meeting called by Rudd.
It seems to me that Gillard’s statement that “those matters reported today have no veracity or truthfulness to them” leaves little wriggle room. But is it all that important if she did suggest that strategy? If so it doesn’t add up to an endorsement of Abbott’s policies. At the time the Gillard paper was supposedly written, did Abbott have an articulated policy? I can’t recall, but I doubt it. And there is no reason to assume that Abbott’s policies would have been adopted unchanged by Labor.
Meanwhile Jeremy Thompson’s write-up for ABC Online sees the affair wholly through the eyes of Tony Abbott. OK, it was written before the radio National PM item went to air. Will the ABC update it tomorrow? Possibly not as it will be yesterday’s news.