Although details have not been released of the concessions sought by the National Party in exchange for supporting Scott Morrison’s target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, the Prime Minister has set his own non-negotiable condition for ongoing discussions.
A source within the Prime Minister’s Office said Mr Morrison was now prepared to “get tough” with the Nationals.
“As leader of the government and the nation, the PM has laid down the law in no uncertain terms,” the source said.
“The PM spoke with Deputy PM and Nationals’ leader Barnaby Joyce following yesterday’s meeting of National Party MPs where they agreed a position on the net-zero by 2050 proposal.
“Well, when I say they agreed a position I mean they all agreed on their own positions.
“And when I say the PM spoke to Barnaby, the PM actually listened a lot and Barnaby spoke rather animatedly at him.
“But when Barnaby finished explaining his party’s position – I mean positions – the PM was unequivocal in setting out his key demand for taking discussions further before he heads off to Glasgow for the UN Climate Change Conference.”
The PMO source hesitated when asked if Mr Morrison’s key demand involved a bolder and meaningful hard target for cutting emissions by 2030, which will be the real focus of the Glasgow gathering.
“No, not as such,” the source responded. “But the PM did make it very clear that there would be no further discussions involving the Nats unless and until Barnaby returns the PM’s balls to him.
“The PM was totally agreeable to Barnaby having his balls while the Deputy PM sorted out the National Party’s position – sorry, positions. (main picture)
“But he really doesn’t want to go to Glasgow without them. He feels he’ll just look silly and weak if he does,” the source said.