Shorten Pledges To Revive NEG, Calls Out 'Different Standard' Over Dutton
Labor may try to force Dutton to the High Court.
Labor leader Bill Shorten has pledged to resuscitate the thwarted National Energy Guarantee if his party wins office at the next election.
The opposition leader also called out the Coalition over Peter Dutton's eligibility to sit in Parliament, accusing the government of a "different standard" in an interview with the ABC’s Insiders program on Sunday morning.
Shorten told ABC Insider's Barrie Cassidy that Labor is "prepared to use" the Coalition's skeleton of the NEG to inform their energy policy in future.
While Shorten affirmed the Coalition's NEG would not be Labor's full energy policy, it would form the basis of their future energy policy if they were elected, he said. He said the NEG was "good" policy.
"We think there’s something we can work with there," he said. "People are sick and tired of climate wars. We're happy to work with the sensible part of the Liberal party, industry and environmentalists on what we hope will form the NEG," he said.
The pledge comes after the NEG was buried in Parliament, with Scott Morrison declaring the policy "dead" and last week signalling a new policy direction for the government.
Dutton constitutional cloud a double standard
Shorten also called out the Liberal Party on the constitutional cloud surrounding Peter Dutton. The Labor leader claimed there was a discrepancy in how Dutton has been treated compared to former deputy PM Barnaby Joyce, who was submitted to the High Court.
"The government is applying a different standard," Shorten said.
The Solicitor-General's assurance last month that Dutton's eligibility was all clear, saying he was "not incapable" of sitting in Parliament, is not sufficient, Shorten said.
"The Solicitor-General’s advice the government relies on says it thinks it’s the better position that Mr Dutton is constitutionally eligible but it doesn’t give a 100 per cent guarantee. I’ve learnt the hard way myself, you’re better off clearing the ambiguity and submitting to the High Court," he said.
"This is not just Labor saying there's a cloud over the eligibility of a senior minister. It's now Malcolm Turnbull. It's now Julie Bishop."
When asked if Labor would bring on a vote in parliament to force Dutton to the High Court, considering Bishop and several other Liberals are considering crossing the floor to support such a motion, Shorten coyly answered "let's just see".
"We need to see government MPs ventilate their feelings more in the course of the week," he said.