Feb 15, 2007

Transcript of doorstop – $10 billion water announcement, climate change

Transcript of doorstop interview – Parliament House, Canberra

Thursday, 15 February 2007


Subject: Lack of planning and detail in the $10 billion water announcement; climate change

ALBANESE: In Senate Estimates yesterday, another leak in the PM’s water plan was exposed. There was no economic modelling done whatsoever by Treasury or Finance on the impact of the $10 billion plan outlined in the Prime Minister’s speech some three weeks ago.

We now know that this was a plan that didn’t go to Cabinet. That issue was dismissed by Senator Minchin, who said that $10 billion wasn’t really all that much money.

We now know that the Departments of Treasury and Finance were excluded, and that there was no proper costing.

It’s not surprising that three weeks after we requested it, Labor has been denied a briefing by the Prime Minister on this plan.

Our national water crisis is too important to not have detail when it comes to financing, when it comes to timelines, when it comes to the impact of these proposals, and when it comes to the management arrangements.

After their meeting with the Environment Minister and the Leader of the National Party yesterday, we had the National Farmers’ Federation say it may be 12 months before that detail is available.

This is of real concern. It just appears more obvious, day after day, that the Prime Minister’s office put more effort into the crafting of a political speech than they did into the details of this $10 billion water plan.

REPORTER: Were you surprised that they didn’t do any research on climate change?

ALBANESE: This is a government that is only focused on the past. It has no plan for the future.

It is extraordinary that Treasury has done no modelling whatsoever on the impact of climate change. You compare that with the Stern Report, with what responsible governments are doing.

It’s simply yet another example of how this Government doesn’t believe in climate change. They are climate sceptics.

On the weekend, the Prime Minister tried to say that you could cordon off the water debate from climate change. If you don’t have a solution to climate change, you don’t have a solution to water.