Nov 14, 2005

Howard Government fiddles while Australia burns

Howard Government fiddles while Australia burns

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

14 November 2005

Australia is getting hotter and the Howard Government is fiddling while Australia burns.

Today the Bureau of Meteorology reported the 10 months from January to October were the warmest since monthly records began in 1950 and that 2005 would probably be the hottest year since annual records began in 1910. September 2005 was the warmest September for 125 years.

Respected and independent authorities at the CSIRO and the Bureau have no doubt climate change is causing the rise in temperature, but the Howard Government has been ignoring the warnings for 9.5 years.

It is disgraceful Australia’s greenhouse pollution is set to rise by 23% by 2020 and the Howard Government has no plan to adapt Australia and our economy to deal with climate change.

Senator Campbell recently stated climate change “is a very serious threat to Australia” and that we “need to take urgent action to avoid disaster”.

Today, Greg Hunt, the Parliamentary Secretary responsible for the Bureau stated “we need to work on reducing carbon dioxide emissions.”

John Howard’s Ministers are all talk, but his Government takes no action.

The Howard Government’s decision not to ratify Kyoto, not to increase clean renewable energy in Australia and not to support a national emission trading scheme shows the Howard Government is not serious about avoiding dangerous climate change.

Without a stable climate, addressing other environmental threats will be impossible, creating a future where land and water resources continue to degrade.

The most significant environmental challenge facing the global community requires strong action and leadership from the Federal Government. It also requires Australia to be part of the global response by ratifying the Kyoto Protocol.

If Australia did ratify Kyoto we could adapt more quickly to protect ourself against the risks of climate change and avoid the escalating costs of adapting our economy at a later time.