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Australian opposition leader under fire over climate change
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Australian Climate Change Minister Penny Wong told a climate policy conference on Monday that it would be the fault of Federal Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull if the government's planned emissions trading scheme (ETS) did not eventuate.

She said it would be a sad change from a man who once championed the cause for climate change action.

The Senate has set aside August 13 for a vote on legislation setting up the scheme.

"It is now up to one politician to determine whether Australia' s carbon emissions will continue to rise or whether we will start to reduce emissions for the first time ever," Wong said.

"In 10 days from now, he must decide whether he wants to finish what he claims to have started."

For the first time, Wong addressed, and dismissed, each of the nine changes the coalition wanted in return for its Senate support of the scheme. "It is simply an attempt by Turnbull to look to the public as though he is engaged, while at the same time telling his party room he is holding the line."

The government remained willing to consider credible amendments if the opposition was inclined to submit them, Wong said.

(Xinhua News Agency August 3, 2009)

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