Turnbull: "I am the leader"
Malcolm Turnbull has put on a defiant display in front of the nation’s press, standing firm as Opposition Leader.
“I am the leader”, Turnbull stressed upon being bombarded with questions.
Asked if he could seriously survice such an onslaught, he said “I’m serious about everything I do.”
Turnbull: This is about the future of our planet
“This is about the future of our planet”, Turnbull said, in relation to the trumoil over ETS.
He said he knows there are people in his party wtih doubts about the science, “but we have to take a prudent approach.”
Asked if the numbers in the senate would carry the ETS bill, Turnbull said “there are more than enough coaltion senators who have supported the shadow cabinet’s recommendations for the bill to be carried.”
He said the Liberals “cannot be seen as a party of…’do nothings’ on climate change. We entered into a bargain, and there was an offer, and an acceptance.”
Mr Turnbull said the vote in the party room on Wednesday had confirmed his position as Liberal leader.
The result of the secret ballot was 48 votes to 35 and meant Mr Turnbull was able to avoid a leadership spill.
One journalist responded by saying: “It’s today though Malcolm”; but he stood firm.
Historic afternoon puts pressure on leader
On a horror afternoon for the Liberals’ leader, former minister Tony Abbott resigned from the front bench.
This triggered a raft of resignations, starting with Sophie Mirabella, as well as Stephen Parry, Mitch Fifield, Mathias Cormann and Brett Mason, while Tony Smith and Eric Abetz were also rumoured to be going.
On resignations in his party, he said “we have to have a reshuffle anyway”, and added he would “assess all of that” after the parliament rises.
Opposition Whip Michael Johnson came out and called for Turnbull to listen to the rebels. “I would call on Malcolm to respect the conventions of the party…to do the right thing and to tender his resignation”, he said.
Later on, there was some support for the leader.
Shadow Special Minister of State Michael Ronaldson later came to Turnbull’s defence saying “there is no leadership challenge.”
“It would be electoral position for us not to show very clearly that we support some action on climate change”, he said
“Malcolm Turnbull is clearly the best person to lead the party”, Ronaldson added.
Albanese: No ‘guillotine’
On the passing of the bill, Turnbull said he was given a solemn undertaking that Senator Nick Minchin, today threatened to resign, won’t frustrate the passage of the legislation. He said that the bills will be voted on before the Senate rises for the summer break tomorrow afternoon.
Following the Turnbull press conference, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese stressed that whatever happens, there must be a vote on emissions trading by then.
Asked if there would be any ‘guillotining’ motion tomorrow, he stressed that the government has an agreement with the Liberals – and that that was confirmed by Malcolm Turnbull today.
The vote must take place by 15.45.