Published: Mon, August 20, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Malcolm Turnbull feeling heat on plan to cut Australia's carbon emissions

Malcolm Turnbull feeling heat on plan to cut Australia's carbon emissions

Malcolm Turnbull abandoned plans to pass laws that would force a 26 per cent cut in Australia's carbon emissions after government MPs threatened to oppose it in parliament and some plotted to end Mr Turnbull's tenure as prime minister after nearly three years. Malcolm Turnbull on Monday conceded that he could not get legislation through the House of Representatives where his conservative coalition holds only a single-seat majority.

"Even with strong support in the party room, if a small number of people are not prepared to vote with the government on a measure, then it won't get passed", Turnbull told reporters.

Labor maintains it is open to a deal but wants to see the wording of the actual legislation, which the government has not released.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Dutton had told him he would not challenge for the party leadership.

Mr Turnbull said he retained the support of party colleagues, including Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton - who is reported by Australian media outlets to be considering a leadership challenge.

Mr Turnbull said he had seen Mr Dutton at a meeting earlier on Monday morning.

Mr Turnbull's supporters say all the Prime Minister can do is "keep steering the ship".

The original commitment would have set in legislation Australia's pledge for a 26% cut in emissions, based on 2005 levels, by 2030. "He is truly a white flag prime minister".

The outbreak of leadership speculation has frustrated and anxious Mr Turnbull's supporters.

"Real leadership is about fighting for the principles you believe in. He has given me his absolute support".

Treasurer Scott Morrison later told Sky News his colleague was wrong to say the policy had been scrapped.

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Do you think Dutton should challenge Turnbull for leadership?

Mr Turnbull has also faced increased pressure in recent weeks after losing a by-election in Queensland.

However, he declined to elaborate on the comment when quizzed by reporters on Monday.

After all, it's only three years since he launched his own "spill" to oust former prime minister Tony Abbott.

"The only way we can win the next election is to have a contest over policy not personalities".

"I'd rather change the policy than change the leader", Mr Abbott said. "It's not about him, it's not about me", he said.

A Fairfax-Ipsos poll published on Monday showed 55 per cent of voters surveyed supported Labor and only 45 per cent supported the government.

"We won't give Malcolm Turnbull a blank cheque".

Mr Kelly and other conservatives such as long-serving Liberal senator Ian Macdonald wanted the target dropped altogether.

Liberal backbencher Trent Zimmerman said the prime minister continued to perform strongly. He said "whoever might be leader" of the party needed to "capture the public's imagination" by changing its policy on climate change and immigration.

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