Crikey continues to receive Coalition talking points sent from Tony Abbott's office to all MPs each day. Here is today's edition ... As soon as an election is called, the Coalition will take immediate and concrete steps to repeal the carbon tax. Coalition message: The Coalition will restore hope, reward and opportunity for all Australians The Gillard Government is weak and incompetent, divided and dysfunctional Today’s message: As soon as an election is called, the Coalition will take immediate and concrete steps to repeal the carbon tax. Issues that the Leadership Team will focus on: Stopping the boats: There is, and there remains, a way forward:
  • There are actions the Government could take today to stop the trafficking in lives by people smugglers
  • The Prime Minister can and should pick up the phone, today, to the President of Nauru and begin the physical process of reopening that processing centre
  • The Prime Minister could, today, further the negotiations with Papua New Guinea
  • The Prime Minister could move immediately to reinstate temporary protection visas and could today instruct Australian authorities to begin turning boats back around where safe to do so
  • If legislation is found to be needed to back up these actions, the Coalition stands ready
  • The Coalition, in opposition, this week sought more ways through this intransigence; we worked constructively to offer a principled compromise
  • We offered to increase Australia’s refugee and humanitarian intake to 20,000 a year within three years, and we offered bipartisan work to establish how this could be done successfully
  • We offered to the Parliament offshore processing with protections; and we offered that people processed at any centre would have that processing of their claims done within 12 months
  • We do not support the Malaysia people swap because it will not work and it fails the test of a good and decent people
  • It’s high time Julia Gillard came to the table
  • Without a resolution in Parliament, it is incumbent on this Prime Minister and this Government to act now. There are actions that can and should be taken, today
  • It’s unacceptable that we have a Prime Minister unwilling to negotiate and a Government engaged in a blame game
  • Forming a committee won’t stop the boats. One Government MP says today that the Prime Ministership has been outsourced
  • The task is for effective action to be taken by the government, now
(Papua New Guinea PM Peter O’Neill has reaffirmed that his country would favourably consider reopening as asylum seeker processing centre if asked by Australia -- The Australian. Federal MPs are bracing for an angry public backlash after leaving Canberra last night with the only progress towards ending the political impasse over asylum-skr policy being Julia Gillard's creation of a committee of non-politicians to bring "fresh eyes" to the problem. As MPs began a six-week Parliamentary break, the standoff reignited Labor's leadership tensions, with PM under attack for failing to deliver national leadership and being accused of "outsourcing the prime ministership". Another boat carrying 44 people was sighted off Christmas Island late last night -- The Australian. Julia Gillard claimed Tony Abbott "had not moved a millimetre to compromise" -- Daily Telegraph) The Coalition will repeal the carbon tax:
  • As soon as an election is called, the Coalition will take immediate and concrete steps to repeal the carbon tax
  • Repealing the carbon tax will ease cost of living pressures on families, help small business and restore economic confidence
  • On the day the election is called, Tony Abbott will write to the Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to make it clear that if elected the Coalition will move as an immediate priority to repeal the carbon tax
  • If elected, on day one we will instruct the drafting of legislation, to be ready within one month
  • On day one the Finance Minister will notify Clean Energy Finance Corporation that it should suspend its operations; legislation will be prepared to shut down the CEFC
  • On day one the Environment Minister will instruct the department to begin implementation of the Coalition’s Direct Action Plan to cut emissions
  • Within the first month Cabinet will approve legislation to repeal the carbon tax; this legislation will be introduced by Tony Abbott on the first day of sitting and it will be the first piece of legislation debated.
  • And as soon as the carbon tax is repealed, the Environment Minister will introduce legislation to enact the Coalition’s Direct Action Plan
  • If Labor and The Greens combine to block the express will of the Australian people, a Coalition government would seek dissolution of both Houses of Parliament, then take our legislation to a joint sitting
  • Julia Gillard broke her word when she said: "There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead". We will not break ours
(Legislation to repeal the carbon tax would be introduced within one month of an election if the Coalition wins office, Tony Abbott has pledged – Daily Telegraph, Aust Financial Review, other) ‘No carbon tax’ was a solemn pledge:
  • Australians are angry about the carbon tax because it will hit them hard without cleaning up the environment, a bad tax based on a lie
  • This tax is an insult to all Australians but especially to those who believed Julia Gillard’s reassurances on the eve of the last election that it would never happen
  • At the same time, Wayne Swan was describing talk of a carbon tax under Labor as an ‘hysterical allegation’
  • This was an act of betrayal by a Labor Party that knew it was divided and dysfunctional, a party that would say and do anything to stay in office
  • And it has led to a tax that will have a negative impact across the economy, without cleaning up the environment – what former Commonwealth bank head David Murray describes as the worst piece of economic policy he has seen is his lifetime
If asked: Productivity Commission report on superannuation:
  • The Coalition will carefully consider the independent draft Productivity Commission report
  • The Coalition has consistently argued that Julia Gillard's modern awards have forced workers' retirement savings into union controlled funds
  • We now have independent evidence that confirms our position is right and that workers have lost control over their savings for the future
  • This isn't about the performance of industry funds versus retail funds - it is about ensuring that workers are able to benefit from an open and competitive default superannuation market
  • We will respond to the report in due course but we are naturally attracted to any measure that allows workers to benefit from increased competition -- particularly now that the independent draft report has confirmed that the current laws are skewed towards union bosses
  • If further asked -- do we support the recommendation for a panel to determine funds in awards? We will respond in due course but we are naturally attracted to any measure that gives workers better choices about their future retirement savings
(Retail superannuation funds would have greater access to billions of dollars of compulsory worker contributions now directed by default into union-backed industry schemes under proposals from a damning Productivity Commission report into the role of industrial awards in the retirement income system -- Aust Financial Review) If asked: Andrew Wilkie motion, early this morning:
  • A motion from MP Andrew Wilkie was passed but has failed based on the technicality of needing an absolute majority
  • Again we see Labor is not interested in a ‘Plan B’, in finding the common ground; Labor in government has no answers
(Parliament has risen with no solution to asylum policy, Andrew Wilkie made last ditch effort, Scott Morrison describes it as a symbolic move -- AAP, off Macquarie Network news) If asked: Clive Palmer’s proposal for a motion at Federal Council:
  • The matter will be resolved in the normal party forums on the weekend
Further information: Russ Neal Office of Tony Abbott