Rudd plays politics with ETS
Opposition emissions trading spokesman Andrew Robb said last night that the Prime Minister was insincere after the government launched a series of attacks on the Opposition Leader despite his offer of a compromise.
His comments came as Labor backbencher Jennie George echoed one of Mr Turnbull's "log of claims" by insisting Australian workers had the same protection as American workers in the scheme before the US congress.
On Friday, Mr Turnbull said the opposition was prepared to consider supporting ETS legislation to go to parliament next month, reversing the shadow cabinet's position that the Coalition would not vote for the legislation before the UN climate conference in Copenhagen in December.
But yesterday Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner scoffed at the offer of talks, telling the Ten Network's Meet the Press that Mr Turnbull should propose legislative amendments rather than vague talking points. And he questioned whether Mr Turnbull could guarantee he spoke for his colleagues after encountering opposition to the ETS from Coalition conservatives. Last night, Mr Robb said Mr Tanner's comments, and a similar attack on Mr Turnbull's "platitudes" by Climate Change Minister Penny Wong on Saturday, showed the government was not interested in genuine progress on its plan to begin emissions trading in 2011.
"This is just a smokescreen," Mr Robb said. "They have been playing politics all along on this.
"Kevin Rudd should say, for example, whether he agrees that the jobs of Australian workers should get as much protection under our scheme as American workers would get under the proposed American scheme.
"It's not a difficult question."
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