June 21, 2009
"Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi", AGAIN!!
Fielding unconvinced as carbon vote looms
Family First Senator Steve Fielding says he does not intend to vote in favour of the Government's emissions trading scheme because he remains unconvinced of the science behind the scheme.
The Government wants the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme passed by Friday when Parliament rises for the winter break, but the Opposition wants it delayed until next year.
Senator Fielding says meetings with Climate Change Minister Penny Wong and chief scientist Penny Sackett have not convinced him of the science of climate change.
"I'm still open for them to have other information but from what I've seen it's not a convincing argument," he said.
"I don't know how any parliamentarian could actually vote for this legislation given that they would have trouble trying to answer a question that the Minister and the chief scientist have had trouble answering themselves."
Senator Fielding says Australia should not act until after the United Nations conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen in December.
"It is absolutely crazy for Australia to go it alone; we should definitely wait until Copenhagen," he said.
"You've got China, you've got India; we've got to wait til Copenhagen. We need to see what the rest of the world are going to do, and then Australia can respond. Because frankly, going alone is suicide."
Meanwhile some Senators are planning to obstruct debate on the scheme this week in a bid to block a vote by Friday.
Nationals Senate leader Barnaby Joyce says there is a plan to filibuster - make long speeches - to stop the bill getting to a vote this week.
"I'll definitely be contributing to a filibuster to make sure that we delay the vote for as long as possible to give the Australian people more time to really ascertain what this is really all about," he said.
The Coalition's Senate leader, Nick Minchin, says there is no reason to deal with the legislation this week.
"The Government well understands that there is not a Senate majority for this legislation," he said.
"Really, it is a naked and cynical political exercise for the Government even to be asking the Senate to be considering this legislation this week.
"After all, this is legislation which doesn't have a starting date until July 2011."
Senator Minchin says the debate should be deferred until next year.
"To try to ram legislation of this kind - involving some 11 separate pieces of legislation - through the Senate in a few days is frankly arrogant and treating the Senate with utter contempt," he said.
"So we will be making our case as strongly as possible in the few days available to us, as to why this legislation should not be passed at this time."
But Greens leader Bob Brown opposes a delay. He wants the plan defeated this week unless there are stronger emissions reduction targets.
"We would like to see the Government move to a target of 25 to 40 per cent instead of 5 to 25 per cent," he said.
"But failing the Government moving on the target, we think there should be a vote on this legislation because that will hopefully clear the decks for a better target and better legislation to come before the Parliament."