Sep 11, 2006

Question without notice – Climate Change

Question without notice, Climate Change

11 September 2006

Mr ALBANESE (3.06 p.m.)—My question is addressed to the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources. Does the minister recall dismissing Al Gore’s climate change documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, as ‘just entertainment’? Is the minister aware that the film documents the scientific consensus that global warming has led to a significant increase in both the duration and intensity of hurricanes and cyclones, and that this is consistent with the Howard government’s own Climate change risk and vulnerability report which it received in July last year? Minister, what was entertaining about Hurricane Katrina?

Mr IAN MACFARLANE—I genuinely thank the member for Grayndler for his question. There are three places I do not go for advice on climate change. One of them is to unsuccessful candidates for the US presidency who cannot even convince their own people that they are right. The second place is the movies—

Ms Plibersek interjecting—

The SPEAKER—Order! The member for Sydney will remove herself under standing order 94(a).

The member for Sydney then left the chamber.

Mr IAN MACFARLANE—The third place is the Labor Party, who promote a policy that will cost jobs in Australia. The inner-city Sydney attitudes of the member for Grayndler are in stark contrast to those of Mr Tony Maher, the General President of the CFMEU, who found himself compelled to write to the Leader of the Opposition complaining that the Labor Party was selling them out on jobs in the coal industry. His letter went on to say:

My point is I fear—

Mr Price—Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. What does this have to do with whether or not Hurricane Katrina’s attack—

The SPEAKER—What is the member’s point of order?

Mr Price—Relevance, of course.

The SPEAKER—The Chief Opposition Whip will resume his seat. I have been listening closely to the minister. He is answering the substance of the question.

Mr IAN MACFARLANE—The Labor Party is asking us to ratify Kyoto and sacrifice Australian jobs, particularly jobs in the coal industry. Tony Maher said in his letter that 30,000 jobs were being put at risk by the member for Charlton in her opposition to what she described as a ‘rapacious’ coal industry.

This government will continue to support the jobs of Australians. We will continue to support policies that actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions and technologies that will see greenhouse gas emissions lowered, not policies supported by the Labor Party on Kyoto that will simply cost jobs. I table documents to back the statement.

Mr Albanese—I seek leave to table a section in the latest issue of the Economist, ‘The heat is on: a special report on climate change’. He obviously has not read it.

Leave not granted.