Moderate Liberals push back against party move to oppose safeguard mechanism reform
Liberal moderates Paul Fletcher and Simon Birmingham pushed back against a decision to oppose the Albanese government’s planned overhaul of the safeguard mechanism during shadow cabinet deliberations over the past fortnight.
Labor is pursuing reforms to the safeguard mechanism, introduced first by Tony Abbott, to help drive down pollution from Australia’s heavy emitters in a trajectory consistent with the government’s national climate targets for 2030 and 2050.
After a majority in shadow cabinet favoured opposing the Albanese government’s new legislation facilitating below-baseline crediting in the safeguard mechanism, the Coalition party room rubber stamped the decision on Tuesday morning.
But Guardian Australian understands two shadow frontbenchers, Birmingham and Fletcher, expressed concern about the consequences of opposing Labor’s overhaul during the opposition’s internal deliberations last week and this week.
Sources say Birmingham, the shadow minister for foreign affairs, prefaced his objections to the majority inclination by noting his position “may not be…