ETS deal goes past deadline
Acting Prime Minister Julia Gillard said that it is “deeply, deeply disapointing that the liberal party has not honoured this agreement” when speaking about the ETS scheme this afternoon.
The negotiated deal between the federal government and the opposition on the carbon pollution reduction scheme missed its 15.45 senate deadline with many amendments undebated.
The senate sits again on Monday, but there are dozens of amendments still to be discussed before the scheme is voted on at some point next week, and more delay and potential filibustering is a likelihood.
Shortly after the deadline, Gillard said that “endless delay is not going to cut it any more”, and would not speculate on whether this leaves the government looking for a double dissolution.
“We are not focused on anything other than delivering the carbon pollution reduction scheme”, Gillard answered when asked if the deadlock-resolving procedure was on the cards.
Gillard was heavily critical of the Opposition. She said the government will be turning up to the senate on Monday, but the Opposition must also be there to honour their word.
“I would like to pay a tribute to Mr Turnbull”, Gillard said. “He has acted constructively and in the nation’s interest.”
But she was scornful of those in the Opposition trying to scupper the deal.
“If they fail to honour the agreement…they have been conqured by the sceptics and deniers in their ranks”
Gillard also recalled that the Liberal Party fought the last election, under John Howard, committed to a deal on an emissions trading scheme.
Deal looking unlikely early on in the day
By half past two in the afternoon, the senate had only addressed four amendments, and a vote was looking unlikely.
As the deadline approached, Deputy Leader in the Senate Eric Abetz attacked the government, asking “why is the Labor Party so scared of a few extra days?” to debate the bill.
Earlier, liberal senator Scott Ryan on Friday asked Senator Wong to clarify an answer already given to Greens senator Christine Milne about Kyoto units, which refer to certified levels of carbon emissions expressed in tonnes.
Wong annoyed at Libs ‘taking up a lot of time’
“With respect Senator Ryan, you’re doing a far better job than Senator (Julian) McGauran and Senator (Barnaby) Joyce yesterday in taking up a lot of time,” Senator Wong said.
“And that’s fine. We’ll continue to answer questions. You’re chasing every rabbit down every path.”
But Senator Ryan was not satisfied, seeking a further clarification.
“And quite frankly, I reject the assertion that this is in any way some sort of filibuster,” he said.
“I think I’ve asked most of my questions here in well under five minutes and they have been questions rather than speeches.
“If you want me to start making speeches, I can do that as well.”
Earlier, Greg Combet, Junior Minister for Climate Change Greg Combet said
“If that time comes around and the legislation has not been dealt with, it is a clear indication that the extremists and conspiratists in the Liberal party and the National party have got the upper hand,” Mr Combet told reporters in Canberra.
“It’s clearly been a commitment that we expect to be delivered, that the legislation be voted upon … this afternoon.”