Australian Opposition Leader scorns Labor-Greens deal

13:12, September 01, 2010      

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Responding to the Greens-Labor alliance agreement on Wednesday morning, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said the deal showed there was no election commitment Prime Minister Julia Gillard would not dump to hold onto power in Parliament.

"The citizen's assembly (on climate policy) was always a dud policy and now it has been junked at the direction of the Greens. Clearly the Greens will be in the drivers seat in any renewed Gillard government," Abbott told a press conference in Canberra.

"There will be a carbon tax, there will be a mining tax, there will be funding cuts for independent schools and there will never be offshore (asylum seekers) processing," he said.

Abbott said it was not possible for Coalition party members to sit on the Labor-Greens' proposed climate change committee, which would replace the citizens' assembly.

"It was absolutely clear from (Greens leader) Bob Brown today that this committee ..will come up with an effective way to put a price on carbon, which was not Coalition policy," he said.

"What we wanted to do was to take effective action on emissions.. in a way that does not impose as great big new tax on everyone and everything".

On negotiations with the trio of independent members of parliament who hold the balance of power, Abbott said he has not received any indication from them on which side they would support.

The deal with the Greens means Labor is now three seats short of the 76-seat majority it needs to form government.

Source: Xinhua


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