Wong - My way or the highway
The plan was alive for less than half a day before Climate Change Minister Penny Wong dismissed it as a shopping list of "vague and inconsistent demands".
Senator Wong said the Government would listen to Mr Turnbull only if he had a coherent set of instructions from the joint Coalition party room.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd similarly gave it the thumbs-down, taunting Mr Turnbull to unify the warring Coalition before putting anything before the Government again.'
Rudd cannot resist cheap political point-scoring, even when we are talking about the most complex piece of legislation since the GST. But at least the Nationals have some principles:
Senator John "Wacca" Williams said he would rather walk away from Canberra with a clear conscience than vote for the legislation in its present form. "Permits could cost the agricultural sector $7 billion. Under that scenario there'd be no farmers and no food."
Senator Williams said the Government was only interested in getting a double dissolution trigger for an early election.
"Politics is what's behind it all, and we shouldn't be playing politics with Australia's future," he said. [Absolutely right - Ed]
The Nationals Senate leader Barnaby Joyce reiterated that he would not support the scheme, and other senior Nationals said they would never vote "for anything that looks remotely like the existing bill".
Read it here.