Coalition MPs have prodded Home Affairs Peter Dutton to roll Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull after some embarrassing election defeats and serious party room conflict over the National Energy Guarantee, The Daily Telegraph reports.
The Liberal Party’s hard-line standard bearer has reportedly been encouraged by conservative corners of the party to take leadership before the next Federal Election, lest they lose big time.
The Tele states the drama is largely due to the Coalition’s party room constipation over the National Energy Guarantee, a policy which supporters state will deliver lower power prices to consumers while also cutting fossil fuel emissions.
Critics of the policy have argued the plan places too much emphasis on reducing fossil fuel usage, and that its 2030 goal of lowering emissions by 28 per cent from 2005 levels will actually raise power prices.
Sure, the Liberal Party formally endorsed the plan in a party room meeting this week, but five Coalition MPs have reportedly signalled to vote against it unless that emissions target is binned.
There’s also this telling footage of Deputy Nationals leader Bridget McKenzie during this morning’s discussion of the issue on RN Breakfast:
— ABC Politics (@politicsabc) August 16, 2018
That’s not even taking other parties into consideration. The NEG needs support from the states before it can be fully enacted, and elements of the ALP and The Greens have argued the policy is already a capitulation to the coal-powered energy sector which doesn’t do nearly enough to lower the level of harmful emissions.
While Dutton has only offered tepid support for the NEG as it stands, he hasn’t openly suggested he’ll take a stab at the top job. Still, it’s a tense situation for the government, and if the allegations of backroom shit-stirring are accurate, it’s a tense time for Australia. We’ll keep you posted, folks.