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I was wrong to ditch emissions trading: Rudd
THE former prime minister, Kevin Rudd, has admitted that he was wrong to abandon the emissions trading scheme in April last year.
In his most candid public comments yet on the decision which led to his replacement by Julia Gillard, Mr Rudd told the ABC'sQ and Aprogram: ''I was wrong.''
''I think my judgment then was wrong,'' he said.
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When Mr Rudd was deposed by Ms Gillard last June he told the caucus that Ms Gillard and Wayne Swan had argued in favour of the decision to shelve the emissions trading scheme.
Last night he declined to name names but did not reject suggestions that cabinet was split. ''It's not a secret that there were a diversity of views at the time in the cabinet.''
He said there were some who wanted to ''kill it [the scheme] for good''. Mr Rudd said he was not of that view.
''It is not a pretty story,'' he said of the internal machinations of the time.
In his defence Mr Rudd said the Senate had twice rejected the legislation for the emissions trading scheme before the decision was made to shelve it.
He said that as prime minister at the time he took full responsibility for the decision. ''It was a wrong call for which I was responsible,'' he said.
He said he had tried to find a way through the middle to preserve the unity of the government and ''on balance it was the wrong call''.
''You make mistakes in public life, it was a big one.''
The Opposition is expected to seize on Mr Rudd's admission in attempt to further wound Ms Gillard, who after the election put an emissions trading scheme back on the agenda.
Mr Rudd's comments are also likely to cause unrest inside the Labor Party given the debate it will provoke about Ms Gillard. It will do little to dampen suspicions he still considers himself a chance to become the party's leader again.
Asked if he had learnt anything since losing the prime ministership Mr Rudd said: ''Everyone stuffs up''.
''The important thing is what you learn from it.''
He said he should have taken more time to talk about policies and he had learnt that he needed to ''sleep more, rest more, and not make bad policy calls on pretty big decisions''.
''I might have learnt a thing or two for the future,'' he said.
The most recentHerald/Nielsen shows more voters prefer Mr Rudd as prime minister than Ms Gillard. Ms Gillard aims to develop a policy to put a price on carbon and have the Parliament pass the legislation before Christmas.