Leader of the Federal Opposition, Brendan Nelson, has briskly taken 20 steps back (one for each of the last twenty years) when announcing his 'new' climate change policy.
Yesterday the Herald Sun reported:
"BRENDAN Nelson has foreshadowed a tougher line on emissions trading that hinges on action by big polluters including China and India.
Announcing the policy shift, Dr Nelson said Australia must move ahead with an emissions trading scheme, but insisted that it "must be informed by what the major emitters throughout the world choose to do". He said Australia must "methodically and responsibly" implement its scheme with a price on carbon. "Australia must act with the rest of the world, but not be so far in front of the major emitters that we risk Australian jobs and we don't do anything for our environment," he said this afternoon. Coalition sources told The Australian Online earlier that hardliners in the shadow ministry were claiming a victory after today's meeting and claim the "big shift" was from frontbenchers Malcolm Turnbull and Greg Hunt."
However, it seems the troops are still wedded to Howard's tardy timetable for an emissions trading scheme and didn't take to Nelson's even tardier conditional scheme.
In another ratchet to leadership tensions, the Libs are once more floating the idea of nuclear power.
Is Deputy Leader Julie Bishop deliberately seeking to undermine Nelson's earlier anti-nuclear stance or is this an issue she just doesn't want to let go of.
Either way the Opposition has absolutely no way of pushing such an unpopular idea onto the Australian people.
Who'd have thought that those right-wing goose steppers who created fear when in government would turn out to be as amusing as a barrel of monkeys once in opposition.