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FED: Turn-bull is a Turn-coat: Fielding

Wed Aug 19 17:47:02 EST 2009
Subject: [Fwd: FED: Turn-bull is a Turn-coat: Fielding] name="FED: Turn-bull is a Turn-coat: Fielding.eml" filename="FED: Turn-bull is a Turn-coat: Fielding.eml" Subject: FED: Turn-bull is a Turn-coat: Fielding FED: Turn-bull is a Turn-coat: Fielding

By Cathy Alexander

CANBERRA, Aug 19 AAP - War has broken out in the Senate after Family First senator Steve Fielding launched an attack on the opposition as "the turncoats' party".

The coalition hit back, likening Senator Fielding to the tyrannical North Korean regime.

Senator Fielding slammed the coalition for rolling over to the government on key issues to try to avoid an early election.

"Come on the coalition, come on," Senator Fielding told the Senate during debate on renewable energy.

"The opposition ... can no longer be called the Turnbull's party, it can be called the turncoats' party."

Senator Fielding exhorted the coalition to "show some backbone, show some ticker", and said they had gone "missing in action".

"Australia is in a very dangerous position at the moment with federal politics," he warned, adding that the coalition would keep rolling over on bills to avoid a double dissolution election.

Senator Fielding's outburst was triggered by the opposition's plan to pass the government's Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme, which could be voted on in the Senate on Wednesday.

He supported clean energy but criticised the government's bill.

"Why should mums and dads be asked to foot the very expensive bill and effectively pay a subsidy to private companies as they embark on risky renewable energy schemes?" he asked.

Senator Fielding was more positive about the RET than about emissions trading, which he helped vote down last week.

Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce hit back at Senator Fielding, accusing him of going missing when important negotiations were needed.

"He's just missing full stop, it's like talking to someone in North Korea. You know they're there but you don't know what they're up to," Senator Joyce told the Senate.

"This is a person whose position on an issue changes like the weather, it changes from hour to hour."

Senator Joyce toed the coalition line on the RET; that renewable energy should be supported but the scheme needed amendments.

"There's obviously a sense of people wanting to do the right thing, to move ahead."

"The coalition .. will do what they can to support this", Senator Joyce said said, adding that amendments did have to be made first.

But Senator Joyce flagged that unless he felt the RET had been completely separated from the ETS, and unless key industries had been shielded from the RET, he might not be able to vote for the scheme.

AAP ca/sb=0A

FED: Turn-bull is a Turn-coat: Fielding