Compensation for farmers and other rural industries will be crucial to a potential deal between the Nationals and Liberals on contentious climate targets.
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is expected to continue negotiations with Prime Minister Scott Morrison with a long-term move towards a net zero carbon emissions target a sticking point.
Deputy Nationals leader and Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said the party wouldn’t enter a deal until what was on offer was clearer.
“That’s just good business principles. You don’t give away your end price straight up,” he told Sky News.
“We’re going to look at it, we’re going to see what we can get and make sure that no one’s hurting, but we also start to square that ledger.
“We copped it in the neck in regional Australia for everyone to sleep soundly in metropolitan Australia and it’s time that our mob got repaid for it.”
Labor leader Anthony Albanese accused Mr Joyce of being a climate change sceptic that would further damage Australia’s reputation when other countries were behind the 2050 target.
“What we have is a rump in the coalition, in the National Party and in the Liberal Party, but it’s a rump that’s holding back Australia,” he said.
Mr Joyce is also weighing up the Nationals’ ministerial roles. Bridget McKenzie – who lost her cabinet position due to the sports rorts scandal – is expected to return at the expense of fellow Victorian Darren Chester.
Mr Joyce took over former leader Michael McCormack’s roles in infrastructure, transport and regional development when he was sworn in on Tuesday.
Mr Morrison has been stuck in quarantine at The Lodge while the junior Coalition partner switched leaders.
But he has urged MPs and senators via video link about the dangers ongoing disunity could cause for the Coalition government’s re-election hopes.
Mr Morrison said having a clear plan, staying united and having an ability to “get stuff done” could deliver victory.
“If we fail on those things, we will hand the reins of government to those who are not fit to handle them and we will regret that forever,” he said.
“We’ve got to focus. No time for individual agendas or pet projects.”
He said voters would be sent to the polls within the year. A federal election must be held by August 2022.