A Shorten Labor government will have two pathways after this election.

They can either pursue a climate and energy policy designed to pass through a divided Coalition party room, to satisfy the likes of Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce, or they can negotiate a comprehensive response based on science with the Greens.

My message to Bill Shorten is you cannot achieve bipartisanship with the Liberals when they cannot even agree with themselves.

Let me tell you what the real long-term hope for bipartisanship is – voters in key seats send a clear message that climate denialism, that being a coal-hugger is not a viable political strategy. That’s how you achieve bipartisanship, by sending a clear message to the Liberals that business-as-usual will not be tolerated.

So the decision for Bill Shorten is this: is he going to take the take-it-or-leave-it approach that Kevin Rudd took? Or is he going to negotiate with the Greens like Julia Gillard did in 2011 to deliver a climate policy that gives future generations a chance?

Our history shows we will work constructively with Labor. You know, apart from our climate laws, one of the biggest achievements in the 2010 parliament was Medicare-funded dental care, it was a policy I negotiated with Tanya Plibersek.

It was the package that has endured through six years of budget cuts. And after a long campaign from the Greens, a commitment from Labor to expand it. It’s another big idea we took to the 2010 election, another big idea that is now reality.

And the gives the parliament a chance to do big things again. It has to be because that is what’s required of us. The IPCC have just given us over a decade to change course on dangerous climate change.

That is three terms of parliament. We cannot afford to waste one of them.


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