Climate Change Minister Penny Wong should explain misleading comments made before a Senate committee last month over the Rudd Government’s dumping of its emissions trading scheme (ETS), Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Action Simon Birmingham said today.
It follows Environment Protection Minister Peter Garrett’s weekend revelation the decision was made by Labor’s gang of four ‘kitchen cabinet’ of Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, Wayne Swan and Lindsay Tanner.
However, when questioned about the decision at Senate Budget Estimates, Senator Wong said it was a cabinet decision:
Senator BIRMINGHAM-I just want to get to the nub of the facts on this, and the facts behind the decision leading up to the Prime Minister’s announcement on Tuesday 27 April this year to defer the ETS. Was it a cabinet decision?
Senator Wong-Yes, it was a cabinet decision, and I have said the decision was made shortly before announcement, and that is as far as I propose to go in relation to cabinet processes and deliberations.
                        Senate Budget Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2010
“Penny Wong needs to explain herself,” Senator Birmingham said today.
“Her statements on the ETS backflip are at odds with the revelations made by Peter Garrett.
“It is clear the words she used were misleading and her intentions were to mislead about the decision making process behind this policy backflip.
“Clearly Penny Wong was embarrassed that this decision was forced on her by a gang of four ministers, with no reference to other Cabinet colleagues.”