The Prime Minister Tony Abbott has used Labor’s internal leadership rivalries as ammunition to goad the Opposition into helping scrap the carbon tax.
Mr Abbott wants legislation to end the tax passed by Christmas but has so far failed to secure enough support in the Senate.
In a speech to party faithful in Tasmania, Mr Abbott said Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s change of heart on the Labor leadership is evidence he can alter his position.
Mr Shorten switched his support from Julia Gillard to Kevin Rudd before the 2013 federal election.
“We know that he’s capable of changing his mind,” Mr Abbott said.
“We remember what he said about Julia Gillard until quite recently. He changed his mind about her.
“Well Bill, if you can change your mind on your colleagues you can change your mind on something of far more weight to the people of Australia.”
Mr Abbott also said the carbon tax was a socialist policy in disguise.
“Let’s be under no illusions the carbon tax was socialism mask raiding as environmentalism,” he said.
“That’s what the carbon tax was.”
More than 150 members attended the address and gave the Prime Minister a standing ovation as he entered the room.
Mr Abbott thanked the Tasmanian division of the Liberal Party for running a strong election race.
He says the Liberal Party did better in Tasmania, where there was an 11.7 per cent swing to the party, than anywhere else.