ALP MP breaks ranks on carbon tax


Federal Labor should allow the Abbott government to scrap the carbon tax to expose the coalition's climate change policy as a "disaster", a backbencher says.

Labor MP Nick Champion has broken ranks with his senior Labor colleagues who have signalled they will block the coalition's plans to repeal the carbon tax in parliament.

"If the majority of people vote for bad policy, then they simply need to see that experiment fulfilled," he told ABC Radio.

"It's not our job to save the Liberal Party from bad policy and it's not our job to save the Australian people from bad policy if that's what they choose and vote for in an election."

Scrapping the carbon tax and moving to the coalition's direct action plan would push electricity prices up, raise Australia's emissions and waste $3 billion dollars, Mr Champion said.

That would expose Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott's policies as a "disaster" and would hasten his demise.

"In effect, I think the Liberal Party want to hang themselves," Mr Champion said. "Well, we should give them as much rope as they need."

He says Labor should oppose the carbon tax repeal legislation in the lower house and abstain in the Senate.

Liberal MP Kelly O'Dwyer welcomed Mr Champion's comments.

"Finally, we're hearing somebody on the Labor party side actually say `we shouldn't be so arrogant as to dismiss the mandate that's been given to the coalition at this election'," she told Sky News.

Labor's Richard Marles said questions of mandate had to be considered by the party.
"We do need to acknowledge the fact that Tony Abbott won the election, and we lost," the Victorian MP told Sky News.
"On the one hand putting a price on carbon has been good policy.
"By contrast the direct action plan is a silly policy. There is not an expert outside the Liberal Party who thinks it is anything other than a lemon."
But Tony Maher from the CFMEU hit out at Mr Champion and his "cheap kindergarten politics", saying "he's walked into it like an amateur".
"The people who voted for Labor want Labor to stand for something, and if they don't stand for something they will pay a further price, they'll lose more votes," the general president of the union's mining and energy division told ABC radio.
Mr Maher said Labor needed to appoint an "adult" leader and stop focusing on itself.
"The sooner they get a captain of the ship the better, otherwise muppets like this will keep saying stupid stuff," he said.