Senator Mathias Cormann
Senator for Western Australia
Senator Mitch Fifield
Senator for Victoria
Senator Brett Mason
Senator for Queensland
Today we have offered our resignation from the Shadow Ministry to the Leader of the Opposition, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP.
Our decision is made with regret but also in clear conscience.
We are opposed to the passage of Labor’s Emissions Trading Scheme prior to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen and before any similar action by our major trading partners. Consequently, we are unable to support the Leader of the Opposition’s decision to support the passage of these bills.
We believe that Labor’s ETS risks Australian jobs and Australia’s standard of living for no environmental benefit. It is not in our national interest.
Climate change is a global problem that requires a global solution.
In the absence of an appropriately comprehensive global agreement an Australian ETS will push up the price of everything, lead to job losses, place pressure on our economy and place our energy security at risk for no environmental benefit.
Australia’s national interest in this matter has been held hostage to the ambition and moral vanity of the Prime Minister, whose desire for recognition and adulation as an ETS pioneer blinds him to the cost that millions of ordinary Australians will have to bear.
In the Senate we will support the amendments negotiated between the Government and the Opposition but we will vote against the ETS legislation if it is put to a vote before Copenhagen.
The duty to protect the interests of the people in our states clearly outweighs the undoubted privilege and satisfaction of working in the areas of our Shadow responsibilities.
Nothing, however, diminishes our determination to focus on fighting the Labor government and ensuring the return of a fiscally responsible Coalition government committed to the betterment of the Australian people.