PM rules out extra carbon reduction effort beyond 5% by 2020
PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has ruled out any extra efforts to reduce Australia's carbon emissions beyond the 5% reduction target by 2020.
Mr Abbott made the comments in Canberra on the opening of the 44th Parliament, in the lead-up to the United Nation's climate meeting in Warsaw, which no elected Australian officials will attend.
Despite pledging before the election the Coalition would pursue the existing range of reductions, up to 20% reductions in emissions by 2020, Mr Abbott ruled it out today.
Spruiking his promise to repeal the carbon tax, he said the Federal Government would not be attempting to reduce emissions, in the absence of "absolutely clear evidence" other countries were also reducing emissions.
During a wide-ranging press conference at Parliament House, he also defended the government's relations with Indonesia, saying the two nations had a close and co-operative relationship.
Mr Abbott declared the parliament officially "getting down to business" on the opening day, promising the repeal of the carbon tax would be the first order of business on Wednesday.
He said that legislation would be closely followed by bills to raise the debt ceiling to $500 billion, repeal the mining tax, and new laws on "the governance of unions".
Mr Abbott said the fifth piece of legislation to be introduced this week would be new laws to "restore the rule of law in the construction industry".
In nominating Liberal stalwart Bronwyn Bishop as the new Speaker of the House, he said she would "call us to order" whenever politicians were "low, mean or petty" on the floor.
But outside the chamber, and after comments that he wanted to raise the tone of debate, he defended calling the Opposition Leader "Electricity Bill Shorten", saying he would "wait and see" what the tone was like in parliament.
The nomination of Mrs Bishop as Speaker also sparked an unexpected outburst from Queensland Labor MP Graham Perrett.
He hit out at the nomination, referring to the new Speaker's past attendance at a rally against former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, which included derogatory signs about Ms Gillard.
Mr Abbott and Mr Shorten will face off in their first serious debate as leaders during Question Time in parliament today.