Bill Shorten taunts Tony Abbott on climate but faces boats hurdle

July25. Bill Shorten has declared he can win an election fought on climate change whenever Tony Abbott calls one, but the embattled Opposition Leader must first clear a hurdle in his own party: a leadership-endangering move to rule out boat turn-backs under a future Labor government.
While the numbers at the ALP’s triennial national conference in Melbourne looked set to swing further behind Mr Shorten on Friday, the Left faction has decided to hold off making a final decision about whether to push the boats issue to a vote.

“Bring it on”: Bill Shorten addresses the ALP national conference in Melbourne on Friday.

“Bring it on”: Bill Shorten addresses the ALP national conference in Melbourne on Friday. Photo: Andrew Meares

A decision will be made on Saturday morning, just hours before that section of the platform is due to be debated.
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With tempers running high, Labor’s immigration spokesman, Richard Marles, received boos from delegates for his stance in favour of turn-backs but the Victorian hit back, warning Labor would lose if it persisted with a policy position based on emotion rather than results.
“Were we to go down a path of re-opening that journey [from Indonesia to Australia] again, you can forget about a future Labor government being remembered for anything else,” Mr Marles said.

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