The federal opposition has ruled out joining Prime Minister Julia Gillard's climate change committee, calling the idea "repugnant" and possibly in breach of the parliamentary committee act.
Coalition climate action spokesman Greg Hunt rejected yesterday's offer by Ms Gillard to join the multi-party committee because, he said, it required a preordained belief in carbon trading and would cause electricity prices to rise.
"The Australian Labor Party went to this election with the bedrock, fundamental pledge to the Australian people that they would not have a carbon tax," Mr Hunt told reporters yesterday.
"This committee is repugnant because it has a test that someone must sign up to a preordained outcome.
"I am not aware, and we are not aware, of any such belief-test on a parliamentary committee in the past 110 years.
"That appears to be in breach of the Parliamentary Committee Act."
One of the committee's terms of reference is to consider mechanisms for introducing a carbon price, either through a broadly based emissions trading scheme, a carbon levy or a mixture of both.
What I find frustrating in politics is opposition for oppositions sake. Hunt just seems to be toeing Tony Abbotts line.
The ABC 's"The Drum" pointed this about Hunt::
Hunt himself has bitten the bullet. His intellectual position is in favour of a carbon tax. We know this because he was one of the fiercest advocates of Turnbull's position when Malcolm was Liberal leader.
What I find frustrating about Hunt is that he is a smart. I actually think out of all the heads in government he probably is the best environmental minister there could be. My issues is he is going to play the Tony Abbott line.
So what is the best for Australia? Putting the best man for the job into power only to be muzzeled by Tony Abbott?
Politics and compromises. Maybe ever moral compromises...