It’s the first day back at school for all the enthusiastic parliamentary children members, even though the class hasn’t voted on a deputy speaker to be SRC representative yet.
Swearing in will take place, including the first time an MP has been sworn into parliament on a Koran, this morning. The debate over a deputy speaker babbles on — Peter Slipper is reluctant to make a deal with Labor and an announcement is expected at 5pm today.
But PM Gillard turned up with a new climate policy tucked into her lunch box, announcing yesterday a climate change committee after Bob Brown’s Greens forced her to nix the often-paned Climate Assembly plan.
It’ll be a hodgepodge of Labor, Greens, Independents and non-political experts making up the committee, which Gillard will chair. Other members include Greens Senators Bob Brown and Christine Milne, Deputy PM Wayne Swan and Climate Change Minister Greg Combet and independent MP Tony Windsor. The Coalition has been offered two spots on it, which so far Tony Abbott has declined. The group will debate a price on carbon, an emissions trading scheme and other climate policy and will report directly to Cabinet.
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Is it a good move by prefect Gillard or just a blatant win for the Greens, the new popular kids in school? Here’s what the pundits are saying:
The Coalition has sharpened its attack on Labor’s climate change committee, saying it’s too secretive and based on accepting a pre-ordained outcome.
Sydney Morning Herald
Phillip Coorey: Gillard ups the ante on carbon charge
There will be four outsiders — Ross Garnaut, who helped design the emissions trading scheme for the Rudd government, the climate expert Will Steffen, the energy expert Rod Sims, and the social policy expert Patricia Faulkner.
For a deal to be crunched, one side will have to compromise. The government said its target to cut emissions by 5 to 25 per cent by 2020 still stood while the Greens said they stood by their target of 25 to 40 per cent.
Michelle Grattan and Adam Moroton: Greens win key role on climate
The Greens’ new post-election power has secured them a pivotal role on the high-level government committee that will recommend how Australia should price carbon.
Michelle Grattan: Greens secure position to put their footprint all over carbon decisions
Bob Brown is a very clever politician. He has managed to storm the citadel and put the Greens in an extremely strong position to influence the government’s decisions on carbon pricing.
Michael Harvey: Bob Brown’s Greens flex eco muscles
The arrival of the Greens as a political force has been cemented with a seat at the all-powerful Cabinet table— not quite as a minister but courtesy of a new committee.
Terry McCrann: Carbon tax promise has Julia Gillard choking on her words
So now we know, Julia Gillard is both dishonest and dumb. “There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead” came unequivocally and without qualification from Gillard before the election. Now after the election, she wants to put a price on carbon – a carbon tax – in this term to supposedly deliver certainty for business.