Nov 5, 2006

Howard Government struggling for relevance in the new Century

Howard Government struggling for relevance in the new Century

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

5 November 2006

The Prime Minister’s call for a national summit this week on water and climate change is an admission of failure by the Howard Government.

After a decade of inaction and ignoring calls for a climate change summit, the Prime Minister has cynically called a summit on Melbourne Cup Day and whilst the Reserve Bank is considering raising interest rates. It’s extraordinary the Government’s called a summit on the Murray Darling Basin without inviting the Queensland Government.

The Howard Government has failed to address our water crisis with real action and they have no plan to avoid dangerous climate change.

You can’t solve the water crisis without tackling climate change.

The last decade has been one of lost opportunity as the Howard Government has denied the impact of climate change, particularly on our precious water supplies, which remain overallocated, undervalued and misdirected.

Today’s call for a summit is a further sign the Government’s playing catch up on climate change and water.

At this time last year, Federal Labor backed the call from NSW Premier Morris Iemma for a National Climate Change Summit. On 29 November 2005, Labor said:

“The need for a national summit couldn’t be clearer. According to the Bureau of Meteorology, September 2005 was the warmest September for 125 years…Climate change is the cause.

The Government’s own Climate Change Risk and Vulnerability Report tells us that climate change will deliver more severe cyclones, storms and bushfires and much less rainfall in southern Australia… Our major capital cities in southern Australia – Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth – will face increased pressure on access to critical natural resources, like water…

The Howard Government is frozen in time while the world warms around it.”