Bridget Archer squints into the sun as she talks into a microphone.

Liberal MP Bridget Archer willing to cross floor in support of 43 per cent climate target

Tasmanian Liberal Bridget Archer says she is willing to again vote against her party in support of the government’s climate change bill.

The federal government will introduce a bill to parliament tomorrow that would formalize a target to reduce emissions by 43 per cent by 2030, and require the government to report its progress.

Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen said the legislation would also oblige the Climate Change Authority to advise government on future targets, including for 2035.

The government is still negotiating with the Greens to win its support, which is needed for the bill to pass the Senate, but it has agreed to tweak the bill to spell out that the 43 per cent target is a minimum standard, not a cap.

“We have shown we are prepared to take constructive suggestions on board,” Mr Bowen said.

Ms Archer’s vote in the lower house is not needed to pass the bill, but the Bass MP said she was prepared to cross the floor anyway, with a view to ending a decade of political warring on climate.

“I haven’t looked at the detail of Labor’s legislation yet, and our party room hasn’t had the opportunity yet to discuss it, [but] ending the climate wars is really the perspective I am approaching this from,” Ms Archer told ABC Radio.

“I am a proud member of the Liberal Party. But in the hierarchy, if you like, of who you represent first and foremost, it’s the people of Bass.”

Ms Archer drew attention earlier this year when she crossed the floor to vote against her Coalition colleagues on an anti-corruption commission bill, and later to extend discrimination protections to transgender students.

Mr Bowen said the Liberal Party was out of step with industry and the community.

“The Liberal Party — at least the leader of the Liberal Party — seems to have not received the memo from the Australian people on May 21 that it’s time to end the climate wars,” he said.

“Liberals of good conscience can consider their position when the vote comes to parliament.”


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